Zaslansky Starts Ad Agency to Blend DM, Creative

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Sheldon Zaslansky, the former owner and president of the Walter Karl list management and brokerage company, this week unveiled his new venture, an advertising agency called Yellow Brick Road that will specialize in Web branding, online and off-line retention and acquisition campaigns, developing Web content and reconfiguring existing content.

The company will seek to leverage Zaslansky's direct marketing experience to help Web companies achieve better returns on their marketing expenditures. Other managing partners include Christine Bastoni, Catherine Donnelly, Marianna Morello and Sheila Zubrod, who bring creative and media strategy experience to the venture. Bastoni is the founder of Bastoni/Barnes and a previous creative director at FCB Direct and Bronner Slosberg; Donnelley is the owner of Donnelley Design Offices; Morello is president of Manhattan Media; and Zubrod was a creative director at Chiat Day Direct, Cohn and Wells and Krupp Taylor.

Yellow Brick Road has offices in New York and Milwaukee and is planning an additional office in California. The company has seven clients, Zaslansky said, including one in the travel industry and another in the movie industry. He said the identities of the clients would not be revealed until May 1.

Zaslansky, who sold Walter Karl to InfoUSA two years ago and remains a consultant to the Omaha, NE, database company, said the timing is right for an agency with a blend of direct marketing and creative expertise.

"We had one Internet company come to us that has spent millions on advertising had has no sales to show for it, and now they are asking us to spend less money and bring in more sales," Zaslansky said. "That's where we'll be able to use our skills as direct marketers."

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