Canada's Vickers & Benson Pushes Interactive

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TORONTO - Vickers & Benson Companies Ltd. has named Michael Shostak president of its direct division, Vickers & Benson Interactive.


"Michael is one of a new breed of young, dynamic and talented interactive marketers," said John Hayter, chairman of Vickers & Benson.


"He is the ideal leader for our interactive unit because he understands and embraces all aspects of the business - from technology to account service and from branding and convergence to e-commerce and e-marketing."


Prior to joining Vickers & Benson, Michael spent five years in senior positions with ExtendMedia Inc. (formerly Digital Renaissance), a leading interactive media production company. In his most recent post as vice president of marketing, he oversaw the launch of www.ctvsportsnet.com, a leading Canadian sports site.


"The first wave of e-business on the Internet was about informational sites," said Shostak. "The second wave came with the introduction of interactivity and e-commerce transactions. But the third wave in the evolution of e-business will be about brand recognition, channel synchronization and customer relationship building."


Marketing and branding will become even more important in the success of e-commerce initiatives, he said. "Consumers will flock to established brands online because brands represent trust."


ExtendMedia CEO Keith Kocho said Shostak is a tremendous talent who has a multidisciplinary approach to marketing. He said Shostak is in tune with the way "the world of advertising is changing, driven in large part by new technologies and their impact on traditional businesses."


Earlier in his career, Shostak worked for CulTech Research Centre, a government-funded applied research centre, modeled after MIT's MediaLab and Delrina Corp. (now a division of Symantec Corp.), then one of Canada's most successful software companies.


Vickers & Benson Interactive is one of four wholly-owned subsidiaries of Vickers & Benson Companies. The others are Vickers & Benson Advertising, media-buying agency MaxxMedia Inc. and public relations firm Warwick & Associates.
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