R/GA San Francisco Hires Seasoned Planning Experts

Expands Office Capabilities

Jun 16, 2010, 14:30 ET from R/GA

NEW YORK, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to continue the strategic development of R/GA's global network, R/GA San Francisco has hired two significant planning leaders, Jason Tarantino and Guy Gould-Davies. Both men have more than a decade each of traditional and digital planning experience. They will report to William Charnock, chief strategy officer, R/GA New York.

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"Since joining R/GA earlier this year, I was charged with building out a best-in-class brand strategy team to deliver on the agency's digital vision," said Charnock. "Clients are looking to R/GA for more than insights and research. They're asking us to help them work out how digital technology can accelerate their brand's evolution and give them a competitive advantage in their industry. Having Jason and Guy on board is a significant step in delivering that thought leadership in our San Francisco office, which has not previously had formal strategic leadership capabilities."

As group planning director, Jason Tarantino will lead planning across key R/GA San Francisco accounts and act as a driver in new client development, as well as work with R/GA Chicago on strategic planning.

Tarantino comes to R/GA from Wieden + Kennedy Portland where he was a senior strategist and lead interactive strategist. In this role, he led a team of planners to develop Target's social media strategy, leading business innovation as well as communications and advertising planning. He also worked to develop an experiential communications strategy for Dante's Inferno, an Electronic Arts video game, which made it possible for consumers to experience different levels of hell. The nine-month guerilla campaign was so effective that it received more than 50 million impressions, and game demo downloads and sales exceeded projections.

Tarantino originally worked for R/GA New York from 2005 to 2008 as the agency's first planner, ultimately serving as a planning director. He delivered strategic planning for HP, Sunglass Hut, Barnes & Noble, and Verizon. He also leveraged R/GA's strength as a technical development company to create strategic plans for Verizon Beatbox Mixer and Verizon Action Hero; the latter won a Cannes Cyber Lion in 2007. One of Tarantino's most significant contributions involved the development of a cross-cultural study of customization, which led to rethinking key tenets of customization.

A seasoned planner with a proven history of planning for well-known global brands, Guy Gould-Davies joins R/GA San Francisco as a planning director. He will be charged with leading digital strategy for Walmart, and recently transferred from R/GA New York where he worked on MasterCard's digital engagement strategy.

His experience in strategic planning spans traditional and digital work at agencies such as Wunderman, Organic, Grey San Francisco, Fallon Worldwide, and Ogilvy & Mather Chicago. At Organic, Gould-Davies worked to win the Kimberly-Clark Poise brand account by creating a digital strategy that found a meaningful way to connect the brand with its target audience -- teenage girls -- in the digital space. As the group planning director at Fallon, he led a team of planners to reinvent the Travelers brand and reinvigorate its business. The strategic platform he defined became the sustainable foundation for go-to-market differentiation and a strategically focused basis for product and service innovation across all channels.

R/GA San Francisco will continue to expand its multidisciplinary teams and expects to hire additional staff in the coming months. The Bay Area hub is participating in the AIGA San Francisco Studio Crawl on Thursday, June 17, during the city's Design Week. The agency will open its doors from 7 to 8 PM to give visitors an up-close and personal look at the office. Stop by to meet our executives and learn a little more about R/GA's culture.

About R/GA

R/GA is a full-service agency that transforms the way people interact with brands. A commitment to design, technology, strategy, and innovation defines R/GA's continuing legacy as an iconoclast in the world of communications and marketing. With a holistic range of offerings, including both inbound and outbound services, along with a specialization in brand development, mobile, and retail, R/GA's agency model is adaptable to the ever-changing needs of consumers in the digital landscape.

Founded in 1977, R/GA has received the most prestigious creative awards for film, broadcast, design, advertising, and interactive. It was selected Adweek's "Digital Agency of the Decade" and "Digital Agency of the Year" in 2009. Advertising Age also named R/GA one of the "Top 10 Agencies of the Decade" and included the agency on its "Digital A-List" in 2009 and "Agency A-List" in 2008. Headquartered in New York, R/GA is part of The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), one of the world's largest advertising and marketing services organizations.

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