Execs and Accounts for July 2, 2003

Draft Chicago has named NBC and PBS veteran Michael Davis as VP and director of emerging media, a new position.

Davis gained wide attention in 1987, when, with a returning Vietnamese national he led the first American television team into Vietnam since the fall of Saigon. After leaving traditional broadcasting in 1995, he launched a creative/production company, which produced spots for Draft clients such as Audi, Coca-Cola, Jose Cuervo and Sprint.

“With his unique background in digital media and television production, Michael will be a tremendous asset to Draft,” said Draft chief creative officer Lor Gold. “He will not only help raise technical standards for our television work, he will also work closely with our creative leaders to raise the caliber of the concepts we produce.”

In addition to developing creative strategies for broadcast, Web and print, Davis’s division will engage in new business development, emerging marketing channels, and commercial production.

Tom Geller, founder of anti-spam group SpamCon Foundation, is stepping down from his current post as secretary. Geller formerly served as the group’s president and executive director, a position now filled by Andrew Barrett. The organization’s remaining officers are President Laura Atkins and Treasurer Ted Gavin.

“With a group of such high quality, I’m optimistic about the future of SpamCon Foundation,” Geller said. “I look forward to watching it blossom in the coming years, until damages caused by unsolicited bulk email are reduced to near zero.”

The organization started in early 1999 as The Suespammers Project, which aimed to collect information about spam-related laws and cases, and to provide a forum for public discussion. Growing demand spurred Geller to sponsor a two-day “SpamCon” meeting in San Francisco in 2001, and with the encouragement of its participants he founded SpamCon Foundation as a non-profit educational resource.

Geller will devote his time to his real estate practice and outside projects.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI), owner and operator of the racetrack of the same name, five other racing courses and 10 off-track betting parlors, is using ExactTargets Connect email marketing software to help fill its grandstands and OTB venues with repeat customers.

“There is intense competition for the entertainment dollar, and in some of our markets we are vying not only against other sports and entertainment options but also against casinos and riverboats,” said Mark Midland, VP of marketing for CDI. “ExactTarget is helping us connect with our customers, keep them interested in what’s happening in the world of racing in general and our facilities in particular.”

CDI’s email campaigns range from regular e-newsletters to an online-only contest conducted in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby. The track operator has an opt-in database of 75,000 email addresses.

Independent ad seller Interep Interactive will package together a group of tech-oriented Web sites into a mini-network. The new package was driven by a series of acquisitions and redesigns by Developer Shed, a media company that owns and operates numerous Web sites for developers and marketers.

Said Adam Guild, president of Interep Interactive, “Our new ad package will enable advertisers to make a significant impression across all DevShed sites with a single order. With heavy traffic and very attractive demographics, these are the early adaptors who establish markets for the Internet industry.”

Integrated marketing firm The Phelps Group has hired Greg Nason as an interactive programmer for its Panasonic and Tahiti Tourisme accounts. Other new hires include Weldon Matheson, who has completed work for Hilton Hotels and Honda, as a production designer; Trixie Orosa, formerly of Deutsch, in media billing; and two team coordinators.

Steady increases in new and existing business have contributed to The Phelps Group’s growth and need for additional talent.

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

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