Web Proponent Ian Beavis to Head Kia Marketing

Ian Beavis, who championed interactive marketing in his previous role at Mitsubishi Motors North America, will now be driving Kia Motors America’s marketing strategy.

Beavis joins the company as VP of marketing. He’ll oversee advertising, product planning and public relations in his new role.

The newly appointed VP of marketing made waves in the interactive marketing community when he held his most recent post at Mitsubishi. There, he was credited with reducing the emphasis on TV and championing TV-to-Web cliffhangers like the “See What Happens'” Super Bowl effort, put together with agency Deutsch LA. That work didn’t ensure a long tenure at Mitsubishi, however. He stepped down in late 2004, citing personal reasons, after having joined just a year before.

Beavis’ departure has reportedly been followed by several other marketing executives at Mitsubishi, as well as other non-marketing executives, including Finbarr O’Neill, co-chairman and CEO, who resigned suddenly in January. The struggling automaker is said to have slashed a quarter of its marketing budget, in the midst of the crucial model year launch season.

Beavis’ new employer, Kia, has been dipping its toes in the interactive waters as of late. Last month, it kicked off a multi-media campaign with ESPN to launch the Spectra5 hatchback. The company is currently preparing to launch the 2006 Rio and Rio5 sub-compact sedan and sport hatch.

Beavis’ previous experience includes a stint as president and CEO of Foote, Cone & Belding, where he oversaw the firm’s San Francisco and Seattle offices. He also served as senior VP at Bozell-Detroit, overseeing the DaimlerChrysler Asia Pacific account. At Saatchi & Saatchi, he was responsible for the Toyota USA business.

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