Digital media veteran Jeff Lanctot has boomeranged to Razorfish to head up its global ad buying activities. The move ends a two-year dalliance with Microsoft, where Lanctot stayed after its 2009 sale of Razorfish to Publicis.
Lanctot comes home to a Razorfish that has changed considerably since that sale. For one, it has more clout thanks to its integration with Digitas, Starcom Mediavest Group, and Zenith Optimedia - Publicis's other three media agencies. Together the four make up the Vivaki digital ad-buying hub.
"The scale Publicis has puts Razorfish on a completely different stage from what it was on before," he said. "It gives us a chance to invent the future of media - pretty hard to do with a standalone Razorfish."
Lanctot's job at Microsoft was to oversee dealings with global agency partners, including the huge media and services agreement with Publicis that was a condition of the Razorfish sale. Lanctot is partially credited with negotiating that deal.
Lanctot left Microsoft in spring with plans to spend the summer with family before returning to work - possibly at a startup. During that time he continued to do advisory work and network in the startup community. But after a series of meetings with Razorfish CEO Bob Lord - casual at first, then more serious - he grew more interested in returning to the agency. In particular, he was impressed with the investments Vivaki has made in digital marketing tools and technologies through its Nerve Center research and development unit.
"While the opportunity is familiar in many ways it feels very new," Lanctot said. "Seeing the investments Publicis was making...felt strategically right to me."
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
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