Execs and Accounts for July 16, 2003

Interactive agency Avenue A, a unit of aQuantive, has lost its account with AT&T Wireless. Subsequent to recent management changes made by AT&T Wireless, the advertiser recently undertook an agency review, which resulted in its selection of a new agency of record for most of its online advertising initiatives.

AT&T last week announced a brand avertising contract with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, but it’s not clear if Goodby will be handling the interactive business. AT&T didn’t respond to requests for clarification by press time.

The transition is expected to occur during the third quarter of this year, the company said, and therefore won’t impact second quarter financial results.

“Despite the loss of AT&T Wireless as an Avenue A client, aQuantive’s financial position remains strong. We still expect our 2003 gross profit to increase by over 40 percent from 2002 and our year-end outlook continues to remain positive,” said Brian McAndrews, aQuantive president and CEO.

He continued, “Obviously we are disappointed to lose the relationship we have had with AT&T Wireless, but Avenue A has an exceptional and growing Fortune 1000 client list.”

aQuantive disclosed that its interactive agency units, Avenue A and Philadelphia-based i-Frontier, have added a total of six new advertising clients since the beginning of the year, and Atlas DMT, aQuantive’s advertising technology business unit, has added 18 new agency clients in 2003.

Eyeblaster has hired Samantha Voisin as business development manager for the Western region, a newly created post overseeing agency, publisher and marketer relationships, as well as fostering new business.

Voisin most recently worked at Initiative Media as VP and account director for the West Coast FastBridge division. Before that, she was a media supervisor at Lintas:Campbell-Ewald, heading up that firm’s Princess Cruises, Outrigger Hotels Hawaii, and Delco accounts.

Eyeblaster said the new position was established as a result of significant growth in the region, which includes Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. It said revenues in the region for Q2 2003 have grown 180 percent since the same quarter last year, and 84 percent since Q1 2003 alone.

The hire also comes on the heels of DoubleClick’s release of its Motif rich media management product, which numerous analysts believe spells trouble for Eyeblaster and other third party rich media vendors. Voisin will no doubt spend a good deal of effort addressing concerns that clients and prospects may have about the development.

Canadian interactive agency ninedots has launched a new site for Nike, in support of the RunTO 10 kilometer race to be held in Toronto July 27. The Web presence, at RunTO.ca, is the online component of an integrated campaign currently blanketing the city of Toronto. The campaign’s goal is to generate interest in a 10 kilometer public run sponsored by the athletic apparel giant.

Outdoor, radio, transit, print and a guerrilla campaign featuring event spokesperson “Running Guy” are currently driving the public to visit RunTO.ca to register, get details on the event, and invite friends to train and race. The site also showcases Nike’s product catalog.

E-mail marketing firm EmailLabs added 57 new clients during 2003’s second quarter. Among the key wins are Sony Pictures, Honeywell Electronic Materials, Agilent Technologies, Aon Corporation, Bell Canada and Fox Racing.

EmailLabs also said it had maintained a good reputation with the major ISPs by continuing its strict anti-spam and client acceptance policies and by being actively involved in the Council for Responsible Email (CRE), an industry trade group charged with establishing best practices in permission-based email marketing.

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

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