As it transforms from a search agency to a full-service digital agency, iCrossing said on Wednesday that it has hired Jonathan Adams, former director of global media at Digitas, as senior vice president, media, for North America.
The agency says its display media spend has increased tenfold in the past year, and it has increased its digital agency of record business, handling digital media planning and buying services, as well as creative, strategy, and search. At iCrossing, Adams, who reports to President of North America Brian Powley, will direct the North American media practice.
Reached in New York on his third day on the job, Adams said, "This job is different from what it would have been six months ago. This is the perfect time."
At Digitas, Adams said he led two teams across three offices; leading iCrossing's North American operations for media is a much bigger job. He noted that iCrossing's current media team is much larger than those of most agencies, and he will be beefing it up.
Powley and Don Scales, iCrossing president and CEO, have consciously sought out digital agency of record engagements, buying and rebranding the Red Aril software-as-a-service audience management platform as Core Audience. In June 2011, it opened a branded content unit.
A July 2012 Forrester report identified iCrossing as one of the agencies striving to play the role of Experiential Brander, one of the four emerging types of agencies.
According to Forrester's Jim Nail, author of the report, "Experiential Branders will drive brand communications not just through clever messaging but primarily by designing rich emotional experiences that bond customers to brands in the physical and digital realms."
In the past years, digital of agency engagements for iCrossing included AAA, the Bermuda Ministry of Tourism, DirecTV, Toyota of North America, Equinox Fitness Clubs, and Cancer Treatment Centers for America.
"The marketplace is seeing the change, as well," Adams said. "That's why we're winning so much business today. No, earning so much business. Winning sounds like luck."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014