Rare Change at Top for A. Eicoff & Company

By: Stuart Elliot

The New York Times- The advertising industry is among those known for turnover in the executive suites. But a changing of the guard at the Chicago agency A. Eicoff & Company marks only the second time since the agency’s founding in 1959 that there will be a new top leader.

A. Eicoff, which has 100 employees, specializes in direct-response television campaigns for marketers like AARP, Lenovo, Quicken Loans and the UnitedHealth Group. The new top manager is Bill McCabe, who is being promoted to president and chief executive after being executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Mr. McCabe, who is 49, succeeds Ron Bliwas, 69, who has been president and chief executive for the last 32 years. Mr. Bliwas, who becomes acting chairman of the agency, became the agency’s second top leader when he succeeded the founder, Alvin Eicoff.

"Bill is the right one to take Eicoff forward," Mr. Bliwas said in a phone interview on Wednesday. He said that he and Mr. McCabe have worked together for the last 27 years.

Mr. McCabe, who joined Mr. Bliwas for the interview, said he was looking forward to exploring opportunities for direct-response television, known as DRTV, in areas like mobile and social media.

DRTV has become more than a method to sell products by toll-free telephone calls, Mr. McCabe said, as more "Fortune 500, Fortune 100 companies" use it "to generate highly qualified sales leads."

Another strength of DRTV is "the ability to use longer spots," he added, a reference to the willingness of many DRTV commercials to extend to two minutes. Other advertisers, including Chipotle Mexican Grill and the Chrysler Group, are producing two-minute commercials for other purposes; those companies’ advertisements appeared, respectively, during the Grammy Awards and the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show.

Eicoff has been part of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide division of WPP since 1982.

 For original article, please click here.