BBDO Brings Creative Firepower to Online Table

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BBDO, New York, the world's third-largest agency network, last week launched new Internet shop @tmosphere Interactive to fill the world-class creative gap it said exists online.

Susan Pinkwater, a former senior consultant at Communicade, New York, Omnicom's interactive division, has been appointed president/CEO of @tmosphere. Joining her as managing director is Mike Campbell, a senior vice president and senior creative director at BBDO New York, who is also a member of its New York board of directors.

@tmosphere was created because "we believe communications on the Internet can improve significantly in quality," Pinkwater said adding that online communications must reflect the business objectives of the whole company and not just the interactive arm.

During the past five years, BBDO's interactive activity has been dedicated primarily to providing media services for clients. Now the agency will be investing more of its creative capital into interactive disciplines, as well building on its historical legacy by becoming a strategic and creative leader on the Internet. And according to Bill Katz, president and chief operating officer at BBDO, world-class creative firepower will be brought to the interactive table through Pinkwater and Campbell's leadership.

Susan Smith Ellis, executive vice president and senior creative director at BBDO New York said Katz' remarks were not overstated. "If you go online and click around, a lot of it is pretty ugly, pretty horsy. What you have out there has mainly been tech-driven. It's focused on changing behavior, which is important, but there needs to be better design. We can enhance that; we can make all of that better.

"You have to catch consumer's eyes quickly without frustrating them. Nothing can be annoying or complicated. But a lot of it is. This is an area where none of us has fully figured it all out yet," Ellis said.

"With our knowledge of the Web and traditional markets, and the creativity of BBDO New York, we believe we can build and market brands better than any other interactive company," Pinkwater said.

@tmosphere Interactive opened its doors for business with a staff of 25 employees. It has already been named interactive agency of record for General Electric and Visa, with projected annual billings of $25 million.
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