Kerker Combines Direct, Interactive Divisions

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Kerker is combining its direct marketing and interactive divisions as part of an effort to emphasize direct-to-consumer marketing and has named Eric Simon as director of interactive and direct marketing.


"We have an artificial wall and basically we're tearing down the wall," said Chuck Kelly, president of Kerker, which is one of the major independent advertising agencies in the Minneapolis area. "There are times when interactive uses disciplines from direct [and] direct uses disciplines from interactive. It seems the best way to develop a relationship is by combining these two together and we can provide our clients [with] better brand-building tools."


The decision comes on the heels of a prestigious account win.


Kerker was named agency of record last month by meat processor Johnsonville Sausage LLC. The account is worth $10 million and involves print, broadcast, outdoor and online marketing to promote Johnsonville sausage products.


Kerker last year billed $50 million from clients such as U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, 3M, Definity Health and Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo.


Kelly said the agency has yet to christen its new direct/interactive division. He said six employees serve in that division and there are plans to hire more executives, especially as business ramps up.


The agency initially will target its existing clients for more business. It has plans to look outside as well.


"We're targeting business-to-business, home products and luxury goods," Kelly said. "We're also looking at healthcare."


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