The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) announced that marketing veteran Laurent Burman has been named Consulting Executive Director of The Agency, the College’s strategic communication agency staffed by students under the guidance of a team of professionals and faculty.
Burman is co-founder of BlueHive, a digital marketing and ecommerce advisory and service provider based in Seattle. Prior to founding BlueHive, he was Global Chief Client Officer and Chief Growth Officer for WPP’s Possible, a digital agency with 24 offices globally, which became one of the fastest growing and most successful agencies in the WPP portfolio. Earlier this year, WPP combined Possible and Wunderman as part of Wunderman’s merger with J. Walter Thompson.
Burman has had a broad range of senior roles across a variety of industries. He was Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for GlobalScholar acquired by Scantron), Vice President of Marketing and GM for eCommerce at Helio (acquired by VirginMobile), and Director/GM of Wireless for Amazon. He began his career in product development at Procter & Gamble. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and currently serves on the board of directors for MediaMall Technologies.
The Agency, launched in 2015, is focused on the college-age market and provides real-world opportunities for UFCJC advertising and public relations students. Clients have included Tommy Hilfiger, Best Buy, Procter & Gamble, Florida Citrus, Smucker’s and Campus USA.
As Consulting Executive Director, Burman will drive the vision, strategy, service offering, business development and partnership activities of The Agency.
“We are very fortunate that a senior industry executive with Laurent’s credentials has recognized the potential of The Agency and embraced the opportunity to work with students and clients at the University of Florida,” said Diane McFarlin, UFCJC dean. “He will bring the relationships, insights and vision that will take The Agency to the next level. And students will have the tremendous benefit of working with an industry executive of his caliber.”
Burman will pursue corporate partnerships to drive growth and sustainable revenue, expand the reputation of UFCJC among industry professionals, and create exciting, hands-on opportunities for students to learn and grow in an inclusive environment. He will guide a team of resident leaders, including student leaders, who will ensure that partnerships are supported and initiatives are implemented effectively.
“With all of the change and disruption in the advertising and marketing landscape right now, The Agency approach seems timely,” Burman said. “Students are seeking ways to make an impact, agencies are searching for talent, and brands are pushing to be relevant to today’s younger, more diverse audiences. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this innovative approach to marketing instruction and the transformative work we plan to deliver with The Agency. I am also honored to work with a pioneer like Dean McFarlin and the incredibly talented students, faculty and staff in helping The Agency achieve its full potential.”