Execs and Accounts for July 30, 2003

Google has named Jane Butler head of travel in its vertical markets group.

Butler joined Google from LastMinuteTravel, where she led global sales and marketing as president. Her travel industry experience also includes more than four years as publisher of DoubleClick’s Travel Network.

As head of travel, Butler will drive strategy for both ad sales and product development with travel marketers company-wide. The vertical markets group is an organization within Google’s sales infrastructure that provides advertisers with industry expertise in a number of major verticals.

In addition, Butler acts as a strategist and analytical resource for the Google sales team and its travel clients.

Using user profiling technology from CentrPort, Byte Interactive has launched a digital marketing campaign for its client Nestle Waters North America, whose U.S. brands include Poland Spring and Calistoga.

Byte used integrated analytics player CentrPort to track how consumers interact with the brand on- and off-site. A consumer’s geographic location is deduced and captured within a profile, allowing Nestle Waters to deliver the appropriate brand and product message. Additionally, CenrPort enabled Byte to target “reactivation” messages to consumers who had dropped out of an online transaction.

“CentrPort allows us to do something none of their competitors could accomplish, which is to allow the capture of valuable, anonymous consumer-behavior profile data both on-site and off-site, and then to apply very complex rules to insure appropriate messaging across channels,” said Byte Interactive’s vice president of client services Gene Tiernan.

Renegade Marketing Group has developed an online racing game for Panasonic.

Called Nitrix Series Racing, the game complements the introduction of a new line of Panasonic home audio products, Nitrix mini-system stereos, and will be featured on Club Panasonic, a community on Panasonic.com that offers various promos. Panasonic said the game will help attract a younger, hipper audience to the site.

“Research indicates that 40 percent of active video game players are between the ages of 18-24,” said Renegade President Drew Neisser. “These are also the people turned on by high-end automobiles [and who] purchase lots of music and electronics equipment. A Panasonic online racing game for this target is a natural.”

Beginning this month and continuing through the end of the year, the top ten high scorers will win prizes. One or two winners per month will win a Nitrix Mini System. To support the launch of the game, Panasonic street teams will hand out Nitrix paraphernalia and collateral to help the drive to Web.

Search marketer Findwhat.com has promoted Bob Protheroe to vice president of technology. Protheroe has been affiliated with FindWhat.com for over a year, initially in a consulting role, prior to which he was CTO for Alluna Group, a Naples, Fla.-based consulting company, and senior VP of research and development for SmartDisk. In the new role, he’ll lead production systems, management information systems and software development.

“Bob has an impressive technical management background that has helped FindWhat.com on many levels already,” stated Tony Garcia, chief technology officer of FindWhat.com.

Speaking of promotions on the technology side of things, 24/7 Real Media has elevated CTO Tony Schmitz to president of tech solutions worldwide.

Schmitz joined 24/7 Real Media as CTO in February, prior to which he launched Web analytics provider Insight First. He also served as a managing partner at marchFIRST and led a team that revamped American Airlines’ entire Internet technology infrastructure.

“Tony Schmitz has hit the ground running,” said 24/7 Real Media chairman and CEO David Moore. “Open AdStream 5.6 was released on schedule and the next generation ad serving development plans are aggressively moving forward with completion scheduled before the end of this year.”

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

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