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Ex-DDB/Chicago CEO Dana Anderson heads to Kraft

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X00093_7.JPGDana Anderson has bounced back. After being pushed out as CEO of DDB/Chicago some 18 months ago, Anderson is back at packaged goods giant Kraft. Anderson has been named Kraft's senior vice-president of marketing, responsible for strategy and communication. It appears she will work closely with Kraft's roster of ad agencies and help them sharpen their various ad strategies. Anderson reports to Kraft Chief Marketing Officer Mary Beth West.

Since Irene Rosenfeld's ascension to the top CEO post at Kraft, there has been considerable flux within the company's marketing department -- a result, it seems, of Rosenfeld's constantly-evolving efforts to turn around a company that had been seen as a laggard in the food business for far too long.

For pretty much the entirety of Anderson's career, which spans stints at JWT/Chicago and the former Foote, Cone & Belding/Chicago before DDB, Anderson worked closely with Kraft and a number of its brands But it is Miracle Whip, perhaps more than any other Kraft brand, that Anderson knows best. She even managed to lure the account to DDB/Chicago during her troubled tenure there. But the work DDB produced was lacking in creative smarts, and Kraft quickly moved the business out of the agency.

Unlike DDB, where observers say Anderson never found her groove because she never fully understood that agency's culture, Kraft is a culture Anderson knows very well. She had been doing consulting work for Kraft since her ouster from DDB in 2007. It's unclear, at this juncture, what impact Anderson will have on Kraft's relationship with all the agencies on its roster. But she's certain to make life inside a Kraft a bit livelier. When she's "on," Anderson possesses a wicked wit, and she can truly dazzle when she is making a presentation to a room of people.

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Lewis Lazare has written the Media Mix column for the Chicago Sun-Times for the past seven and a half years.

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This page contains a single entry by Lewis Lazare published on January 26, 2009 3:36 PM.

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