Execs and Accounts for June 11, 2003

After losing its Nextel account, Mullen has laid off dozens of employees in its traditional and interactive media, account service and PR divisions, a source familiar with the agency said.

Among the casualties were members of Mullen’s interactive staff, including VP and Director of Marketing Seana Mulcahy, according to the source. Some observers believe the cuts indicate the firm, which has until now billed itself as a full-service, integrated agency, will dramatically cut back on its interactive services. After initially refusing to comment, Melissa Lea, executive vice president and director of business development at Mullen, denied the speculation about the agency’s interactive plans, and said it is still well-equipped with personnel to perform interactive duties.

The shakeout was triggered by the loss of the agency’s long-standing client Nextel, a $150 million account, after an agency review rewarded the business jointly to TBWAChiatDay New York and Mindshare. Mullen had handled Nextel’s offline business for six years, and had just won the online account in December 2002. Initiative Media had handled media duties before the agency shift.

This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly named the winners of the Nextel business.

Macromedia will use Web analytics player Omniture’s SiteCatalyst to provide real-time analysis of its global Web properties and eMarketing initiatives.

“Our Web site is an important resource for millions of professional developers so it is important we understand what information and campaigns meet their needs,” said Matt Belkin, manager of Web analysis, Macromedia. “Macromedia is dedicated to providing the best overall customer experience possible, and SiteCatalyst helps us achieve our goals.”

America Online’s Radio@ Network has subscribed to, and will now be measured in, Arbitron’s Internet Broadcast Ratings. AOL’s Radio@ Network encompasses Radio@AOL, Radio@AOL for Broadband, Radio@Netscape and Spinner.com. It will be included among Arbitron’s Top Internet Broadcast Networks and Internet stations, beginning with data for the week of May 26 – June 1 to be released on June 12.

“America Online is one of the world’s foremost consumer brands. Its subscription to Arbitron’s Internet Broadcast Ratings sends an important signal to advertisers that the AOL Radio@ Network is serious about their plans for Internet Broadcast advertising,” said Steve Morris, president and CEO of Arbitron.

The Radio@AOL Network offers aproximately 175 music, news, sports, entertainment and seasonal stations.

In recent days, 24/7 Real Media has signed two contracts for Open AdStream and added nine TV stations to its 24/7 Alliance group of approximately 450 Web publishers.

Virginia Daily newspaper The Roanoke Times has signed a multi-year agreement to use Open AdStream as its exclusive ad serving solution for its Web site; and online researcher and trend analysis firm eMarketer has renewed its contract to use the ad management platform.

Meanwhile, ABC National Television Sales has added the Web sites for its top nine ABC Owned TV stations to the 24/7 Web Alliance group of more than 450 Web publishers. The Web sites to be represented include KABC in Los Angeles; WLS in Chicago, KGO in San Francisco, KTRK in Houston, and WPVI in Philadelphia.

The American Plastics Council (APC) has launched a new campaign that supplements television, radio and print ads with an aggressive Internet campaign. The effort includes a redesigned Web site that features many of the messages from the new advertising campaign.

“The new ads really move people through their humor, emotion and honesty,” said APC President Rod Lowman. “Because Americans now widely understand that plastics help us all live better lives, we can focus on demonstrating some of the benefits that are taken for granted or not well understood.”

W3 Data, provider of online directory assistance services, has added three major advertisers — SBC Yahoo, Saturn Canada and Allstate Insurance — to its WhitePages.com Network client roster. The deal will give these advertisers access to the Network’s approximate 4.6 million monthly unique visitors.

“The WhitePages.com Network provides a very attractive overall value proposition for our advertisers utilizing an effective, cost-efficient platform to display their message,” said Susie Kang, group vice president of consumer services for W3 Data. “We offer new IAB standard ad units and through the use of specific customer information, rich media, fewer banners and more medium rectangles, allow our partners the opportunity to be more creative and targeted with their approach.”

Manhattan-based creative firm Squeaky Wheel Media has hired Amy Brent as manager of business development. Brent worked most recently at ALTRAN, a London technology consultancy, as strategic account manager, prior to which she was an account and project manager at Rare Medium, also in London.

“She’ll do an excellent job in adding business growth to the company because she brings a diverse background, industry knowledge and excitement,” said President and Founder Anthony Del Monte.

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

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