Execs and Accounts for May 16, 2003

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has hired Omnicom Group’s Davie-Brown Entertainment unit to consolidate its agency resources and manage product placement, celebrity influencer programs, and consumer promotions related to television and feature films.

“Consolidating agency resources has been an essential part of creating one brand and one voice for the company,” said Gary Elliott, HP’s VP of global brand and marketing communications. “This move allows HP to gain maximum synergy by leveraging entertainment content throughout our marketing communications portfolio.”

In January, HP consolidated its roster of worldwide interactive agency partners, making Goodby Silverstein & Partners the lead agency for developing the online component of its brand efforts. Modem Media and FCBi became the worldwide network agency for interactive advertising, while OptiMedia continued to be responsible for media placement worldwide.

Up until this move, HP and Compaq continued to use separate entertainment agencies following their merger in May 2002, HP said in a press release Friday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Advertising.com has opened a Chicago sales office focused on the consumer-packaged goods companies concentrated within the region. Mark Dillon, VP of central regional sales for Advertising.com, will serve as senior manager of the new operation.

“The opening of a downtown Chicago location enables us to better support existing advertiser clients and ad agencies throughout the central portion of the United States,” said Ken Evans, executive VP of sales and marketing for Advertising.com. “In addition, establishing a stronger physical presence in the region affords us extensive new sales opportunities across this crucial advertiser market.”

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has added 16 companies to its membership roster. Of the new members, seven are general members and nine are associate members.

New in the general member category, which consists of online publishers, are Bellsouth, Crain’s Modern Heathcare, LA Opinion Digital, Open Source Development Network, Travelzoo, UGO Networks and WebMD.

New associate members include Accipter, Click Squad, Commission Junction, Did-it.com, Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, Fusebox, Oddcast, Point7Roll and Mediaplex. Associate membership is open to companies that support the interactive advertising industry.

Heartbeat Digital, a developer of digital solutions for the healthcare industry, has expanded its online launch practice, which tends to clients undertaking major pharmaceutical product launches. The expansion increases the staff and resources the company will devote to strategic planning, audience-building, interactive patient education, adherence programs, healthcare content writing, and email marketing.

“Increasingly, consumers are turning to the Internet first when they’re investigating new medicines,” said Heartbeat Digital CEO Bill Drummy. “Our pharma clients have seen this and really want a consolidated, integrated approach to online launches.”

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

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