More Departures at Agency.com

Agency.com continues to shed top executives in the wake of its internal realignment with Omnicom’s TBWA network. Eric Valk Peterson and Alan Burgis, managing partners in the agency’s New York and San Francisco offices respectively, have left the Omnicom-owned digital agency.

A spokesperson said both men left for personal reasons, calling their departures “an unexpected and very recent thing.” In an apparent contrast to that sentiment, Agency.com CEO David Eastman told AdWeek the exodus was part of a general housecleaning.

Agency.com’s West Coast office, under Alan Burgis, had been ailing for some time, with several major account losses, including Visa and Miller. Del Monte and eBay are the largest remaining pieces of business.

The interactive shop has also struggled to find its proper role at Omnicom since the parent holding company aligned it internally with TBWA, which already had a major interactive play with Tequila. New business may be gravitating to Tequila, which is strong on multiple platforms including interactive.

Agency.com is exclusively focused on Web development and online advertising. In an age when few big ad campaigns exist in just one medium, most Web-only agencies have either expanded to other channels, partnered to offer cross-platform marketing services, or gone into decline.

Agency.com said a search for replacements is underway. In the interim, CEO Eastman will lead New York business and Brian Holyfield will helm the San Francisco office.

The departures come about ten months after former CEO Don Scales left to join search marketing firm iCrossing, citing strategic differences with TBWA. Scales was trailed in the ensuing weeks and months by several other Agency.com staffers.

Burgis came to Agency.com through its 2004 acquisition of Exile on Seventh. Valk Peterson joined from itraffic. He became the agency’s VP of media services, and was promoted to managing partner of the New York office last May.

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