Starcom MediaVest Forms Halogen Direct Response Media

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Starcom MediaVest Group, the media specialist division of advertising agency holding firm BCom3 Group, is combining its Starcom and MediaVest direct response buying divisions into a new subsidiary.

Called Halogen Response Media, the subsidiary will start with billings of $180 million, 15 employees and offices in New York, Chicago and Toronto. It will offer services like media planning, execution and analysis within the direct marketing business.

John McNamara, senior vice president and media director of MediaVest Direct, has been named New York-based CEO of Halogen.

"Even prior to Sept. 11, advertisers were looking for more and more accountability," he said. "My charge is to provide that level of accountability to our clients to help them acquire new customers, retain customers and work with them and agencies in the BCom3 network to continue to build strong global brands."

McNamara will report to Nick Brien, president of U.S. corporate business development at Starcom MediaVest.

Halogen inherits clients like Capital One Financial, AOL Canada, Blue Cross of California, Touchstone Energy, Barbados Tourism, Unicare and direct response television services for Walt Disney World.

The new shop will handle for clients all integrated media responsibilities for direct response broadcast, print and mail.

Halogen's creation was a proactive move for BCom3, which along with its peer holding companies is paying increased attention to direct response services, including media buying and planning.

"I see it as critical to any holding company or large media independent company," Brien said, "because we're entering into a broadband society and purely analog media capabilities will not satisfy marketing needs. That's the principle."

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