Norman Heads Mediaedge:cia Lead Generation

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Rob Norman moved to New York to head WPP Group PLC-owned media services firm Mediaedge:cia's worldwide lead-generation efforts at Wunderman Media, The Digital Edge and Outrider.

He previously was chairman of Mediaedge:cia in Britain, a position now taken by Zenith Media deputy managing director Tom George. In his new assignment, Norman also is responsible for developing Mediaedge:cia's global capabilities in entertainment and sponsorship marketing.

"What we need to do is have a world view of customer acquisition for our clients," he said. "The central point of all this is that our clients acquire leads [from] all channels, [from] DRTV and search marketing to telemarketing and online. We at Mediaedge:cia see ourselves in the channel planning and implementation business."

Norman reports to Mediaedge:cia executive chairman Charles Courtier. He will have the chiefs of three firms as direct reports: Wunderman Media's Sheri Rothblatt, The Digital Edge's Alan Schanzer and Outrider's Chris Copeland. At press time, Norman had not been given an official title. But he already has begun work.

"What I'm trying to do with this group is to focus all of the activity from which we expect a direct consumer action," he said. "What I'm trying to get into the DNA of this business and the clients' perception is that we can deliver channel-neutral solutions across every lead-generating channel."

Each media services firm has name-brand clients. Wunderman Media's list includes Progressive Insurance, Brink's Security and Sylvan Learning Center. The Digital Edge has Best Western, Xerox Corp., Yum Brands and Campbell Soup Co. Outrider's roster covers AT&T Corp., Best Western and Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Little is known at this stage, but there are plans to have a collective identity for the three media services brands.

"We're considering a parent name for that group because obviously it'll be an easier name to communicate with our clients," Norman said. "We're not proposing to kill any of our business units or brands because they have considerable equity. We'll come up with a collective identity for them."

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