Procter & Gamble Executive Elected Chair of FAST

Vivienne Bechtold, Proctor & Gamble director of i-Knowledge, on Monday takes the helm of FAST (Future of Advertising Stakeholders), an interactive ad industry organization that aims to further the adoption of digital advertising.

Bechtold succeeds Rich LeFurgy, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau and general partner at WaldenVC. It’s not surprising that a Procter & Gamble exec should take a leadership role, since the organization was started at a P&G-sponsored event in 1998.

The new chairperson wants to widen the scope of FAST to encompass all aspects of interactive marketing, rather than focusing on media-based advertising. To that end, more industry representation will be added to the FAST steering team, presumably people with direct marketing backgrounds.

“A key for the long-term success of interactive marketing will be its integration into the mainstream marketing mix,” says Bechtold.

“The members of FAST have the ability to look at the marketing environment holistically and develop solutions that will work for everyone, but first and foremost, for our consumers.”

Bechtold in 1997 was the co-founder of the P&G interactive team. She is now director of the i-Knowledge group within P&G’s newly-formed Global i-Ventures organization, which directs the company’s overall Internet strategy.

The current FAST steering team includes representatives from American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Advertising Research Foundation, Excite@Home, Grey Interactive, Internet Advertising Bureau, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Phase2Media, Modem Media.Poppe Tyson, Starcom IP and Visa.

The organization focuses on four key areas: consumer acceptance, advertising models, measurement, and online media. FAST has more than 600 individual members, comprised of advertisers, advertising agencies, online media companies, and technology enablers.

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