Execs and Accounts for February 14, 2003

TRUSTe, a nonprofit organization that certifies online media companies’ ethical use of personal information, has made three appointments to its board of directors. They are former Federal Trade Commissioner Christine Varney, who will also serve as the board’s chair; Ralph Terkowitz, chief technology officer of the Washington Post Company; and Parry Aftab, an Internet safety and privacy expert.

Christine Varney was one of the founding TRUSTe boardmembers, and after a hiatus has now been re-appointed and elected chairperson. Varney currently heads the Internet practice group of Hogan & Hartson, one of the largest law firms in the country, where her clients have included AOL, DoubleClick and RealNetworks. She served as a federal trade commissioner under the Clinton administration, during which time she was the leading official on Internet issues. Varney succeeds Lori Fena, TRUSTe’s founder and chairman since its inception in 1997, who was made chairman emeritus.

“Since initially serving on TRUSTe’s board of directors I have observed with great satisfaction the growing number of Fortune 500 companies that display the seal and the organization’s extended reach to international sites,” said Varney. “I look forward to helping the organization play an even greater role in shaping the global privacy landscape.”

Ralph Terkowitz was the founder, CEO and publisher of the Post’s electronic publishing subsidiary, Digital Ink. Parry Aftab acts as a consultant to the children’s Internet industry. As the executive director of Wiredpatrol.org, an online safety and educational program, she works with law enforcement to police the Internet.

itraffic, the interactive marketing and advertising subsidiary of Agency.com, has launched British Airways’ newest interactive campaign, supporting the airline’s “Truly flat beds in business class” campaign.

The effort targets frequent international business travelers and aims to increase British Airways’ brand awareness and association. The campaign, which runs from now through 2003, will appear in print and television ads as well as oversized online units and page takeovers. Visitors to online business and financial news sites will be able to interact with a 3D animated demonstration of how the Club World Flat Bed reclines 180 degrees.

“The flat bed in business class is an extremely powerful product for the business traveler, and we were looking for an interactive campaign that was equally powerful in raising awareness of this product with our customers,” said Amy O’Kane, manager of marketing services for British Airways North America. “itraffic continues to develop new and creative ways to integrate our online efforts into our overall communications mix.”

itraffic worked closely with British Airways’ offline agency to develop a creative approach that had a similar look and feel. The agency has worked with British Airways for three years on a number of online efforts, including the “Fly Flat, Fly Free” promotion and the airline’s Wimbledon sponsorship.

Full service agency Mullen has appointed Catherine Bartholow as director of direct and interactive marketing. Most recently, Bartholow was president of RTC Relationship Marketing and executive marketing director at CM Partners. During the mid-90s, she was general manager of the Chicago office of Epsilon, a database consulting and marketing company.

“Our industry and business continue to evolve, and it is without question that highly measurable communications will become much more important and fundamental to business solutions,” said Mullen CEO Joe Grimaldi. “Catherine’s breadth of experience will help us continue to strengthen our offerings in the direct arena.”

Belo Interactive has signed an agreement to deploy Tacoda Systems’ audience management system (AMS) for its 34 Web sites. AMS helps online publishers grow their advertising and transactional revenues by profiling and targeting the most valuable segments of their audiences.

“We expect Tacoda’s audience management system to help us turn visitors into targetable audience segments,” said Eric Christensen, VP and general manager of Belo Interactive. “This will give Belo a huge advantage in every market in which we compete.”

A prominent national Islamic advocacy group has launched a year-long “Islam in America” ad campaign designed to foster greater understanding of Islam and to counter the rising tide of anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. It will use a Web site as part of its strategy.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) will kick off the campaign with a print ad, headlined “We’re All Americans,” in the New York Times. Weekly ads will follow, each explaining one aspect of Islam, and will be distributed to Muslim communities around America for placement in local newspapers. As each ad is published in the New York Times, it will be available online, via a Web site specifically designed to promote the campaign.

“Without accurate and balanced information about mainstream Islam and Muslims, ordinary Americans are vulnerable to the purveyors of hate, in this country and around the world, who seek a perpetual religious and civilizational conflict,” said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad.

For more breaking news on account action and executive moves, visit ChannelSeven.com.

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