MPG's Lanzano Named President at TVB

Agency world losses mount

A second major name in the advertising agency business is joining the television world. Today, Sept. 18, the Television Bureau of Advertising named the well-respected Steve Lanzano, 50, as president. He will take over the new position in January 2010 and replaces Christopher Rohrs.

Lanzano is currently chief operating officer of media agency, MPG, which is owned by French company Havas. MPG's accounts include Reckitt Benckiser, Volvo, Sears, ExxonMobil, and CBS Films. Previously Lanzano had worked at WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia where he became CEO, North America.

Frank Comerford, chairman of the board of the TVB executive committee, commented: "With his background deeply rooted in the advertising industry and nearly three decades of success, we are pleased to have attracted an executive of Steve's caliber as the president of the TVB as we are confident he is uniquely qualified to lead the TVB and its members to further position local television as the dominant, most effective medium for advertisers and agencies."

Lanzano's move follows a similar path trodden by former Carat CEO, David Verklin, who left his ad agency to run the joint cable industry initiative Canoe Ventures. Lanzano's announcement is the second big agency move this week. Universal McCann said it is losing its senior national TV buyer, Donna Wolfe, who is leaving the agency.

Heading TVB will be no easy task. TNS Media Intelligence reported half-year ad spend numbers which showed ad spending in spot TV dropped 27% through June. Lanzano's job will be to advocate for bigger spending at the local level.

Steve Lanzano added in a press statement, "I am excited to join the TVB executive team and to work with board members, TVB members and constituents to underscore our unwavering commitment to local television and the incomparable advantages it holds over other forms of media."