AUSTIN, Texas—May 7, 2013—GSD&M announced today that Michelle Dickens and Neil Saunders have joined the agency both as VP, planning director. Dickens will lead the agency’s strategic efforts on the Walgreens account, while Saunders will lead planning for Goodyear, John Deere, new business and special assignments.
Michelle Dickens comes to GSD&M from Ogilvy West in Los Angeles, where she was partner, planning director on Cisco Systems, Linksys and Tabasco accounts and contributed to Ogilvy West’s transformation into a 365 communications agency. Prior to Ogilvy, Dickens was at TBWA\Chiat\Day for four years, where as planning director she led strategic thinking and direction on Mars Petcare brands Pedigree and Whiskas and on Frito-Lay brands Tostitos and Stacy’s Pita Chips. She also worked as a senior planner at The Richards Group in Dallas, TX, for many years on The Home Depot. Other agency experience includes Arnold Worldwide in Boston, MA. Dickens graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in advertising and later received her master’s in brand planning with a focus in social anthropology.
Neil Saunders comes to GSD&M with over 25 years of experience, having worked as a freelance planner at various agencies including David&Goliath, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Euro RSCG, Arnold Worldwide and Draftfcb on brands such as Nissan, GlaxoSmithKline, HP, Kraft and many others. Prior to this, Saunders worked as SVP, planning director at Energy BBDO, where he supervised brand strategy on Wrigley brands and managed a team of planners. He also worked as SVP, planning director at Leo Burnett for four years, where he helped develop new strategies and drove business growth for Kellogg’s, Beck’s Beer, Allstate, Maytag and the U.S. Army and managed a team of planners.
His other agency experience includes Mullen, AKQA, Goldberg Moser O’Neill, BBDO West and Grey London. Neil has served as a Board Member of the AAAA Planning Committee and the APG.US and has spoken at a number of industry conferences as well as presented to students at Northwestern and the VCU Brandcenter. He has also served as a long-standing instructor at the Miami Ad School. He received his degree in economic and social history from the University of York, United Kingdom.
“Given their vast experience, I am very excited for the huge strategic potential both Michelle and Neil bring to this agency,” said Matthew Childs, SVP, Experience & Insights at GSD&M. “They are a great fit for GSD&M, and I look forward to working with such passionate and enthusiastic planners to help grow our business and advance the agency’s creative mission.”
GSD&M is an advertising agency headquartered in Austin, Texas. With a restless culture and Purpose as a guiding force, GSD&M builds brands with an integrated creative and media approach. GSD&M is part of Omnicom Group, Inc. (NYSE:OMC). For more information, go to GSDM.com.