Agency News: WestWayne Bulks Up DM, CRM Muscles

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WestWayne, an independent agency with offices in Atlanta and Tampa, FL, hired a senior advertising executive from BellSouth to build a fully integrated customer relationship marketing and direct marketing division.

Alan Blount takes over as executive vice president of direct marketing at WestWayne, a position created for him by agency president/CEO Richard Ward. He previously was vice president of advertising and sponsorship at BellSouth.

The mandate "basically is to build up our capability," Mr. Blount said. "[Mr. Ward's] given me the capability and latitude to staff up. The second order of business is to serve the needs of existing clients, and the third is to generate new business."

Mr. Blount's division will offer account management, creative, analytics and production help in the DM space. He looks to hire people with expertise in these areas, plus back-office support.

WestWayne handles accounts like Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, BellSouth, Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, Florida's Natural Growers, Marriott International, Pirelli Tire of North America, Publix Super Markets, Southeast Toyota Distributors, Triumph Motorcycles (America) Ltd., Taco Cabana Restaurants and the Orlando/Orange County (FL) Convention and Visitors Bureau.

ID Media Adds Emerging Media Job

ID Media, a direct response media services arm of Interpublic Group of Companies, promoted Josh Martin to the new role of director of emerging media.

The appointment signifies New York-based ID Media's intent to focus more on direct response-led interactive media planning and buying.

"My role is to really go out there and educate internally and educate clients on new opportunities that are emerging," Mr. Martin said. "Right now, one of the chief trends we're seeing is media fragmentation -- a lot of outlets competing for eyeballs."

Mr. Martin will continue to serve as account director on the American Express account.

ID Media handles direct response media planning and buying for clients like HBO, Johnson & Johnson, LendingTree, Nautilus, Verizon, Quiznos and American Express.

The firm's work is not limited to television. It recently launched a new car entirely online by seeding messages through RSS feeds on blogs. The shop also recently ran a brand awareness campaign through podcasts aimed at early adopters of wireless photography.

Mr. Martin claims his approach to new media is unique.

"One of my goals is to really work with each one of the accounts," he said. "Unlike other agencies where they develop separate departments, my job is to integrate account by account level for emerging media practices."

CheetahMail Teams With Bazaarvoice

CheetahMail, an Experian-owned e-mail and Web analytics firm, partnered with word-of-mouth specialist Bazaarvoice to introduce CheetahMail's Customer Ratings & Reviews E-Mail Marketing Program.

Customer Ratings & Reviews lets marketers improve the relevancy and credibility of their programs by including customer opinions and product reviews into their e-mail programs, CheetahMail said. This can boost conversion and order rates.

CheetahMail cited research from Shop.org's State of Retailing Online study conducted by Forrester Research that claimed only 26 percent of the top 137 retailers surveyed offered customer ratings and reviews. But 96 percent of them ranked customer ratings and reviews as an effective or very effective tactic to drive conversion.

The CheetahMail program includes six elements: the review referral e-mail campaign, first-time review e-mail campaign, review customer service e-mail campaign, review alerting e-mail campaign, post-purchase review e-mail campaign and review upsell and cross-sell e-mail campaign.

ICrossing Promotes Scales to President

Interactive marketing agency iCrossing Inc. elevated Don Scales to the president's position only a few weeks after he took over as chief operating officer.

Holding dual posts, Mr. Scales will run the Scottsdale, AZ, and New York agency's operations. With this move, Jeffrey Pruitt becomes president of search operations at iCrossing.

Mr. Scales previously served as CEO of Agency.com. His mandate is to increase iCrossing's business from new and existing clients.

360i Joins 4As

360i, an agency specializing in search engine marketing, joined the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

The move is in line with New York-based 360i's plans to expand its offerings beyond SEM to an agency led by that discipline.

The 4As is the advertising industry's largest trade association.

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