Carat Launches Interactive Unit

Carat today launches a separate interactive company to differentiate its Internet offerings from its overall business, said Sarah Fay, president of the new entity, Carat Interactive.

In addition to “typical” media buying, planning, tracking and optimization, the company will offer new services such as performance marketing, affiliate programs and electronic customer-relationship-management services, she said. Fay, who reports to Carat North America CEO David Verklin, was formerly the managing director of Carat Freeman’s interactive services and B2B media divisions.

Carat Interactive, a former division of Carat unit Carat Freeman, is launching with current accounts such as AOL, Pfizer and Hewlett-Packard. The company also handles and affiliate marketing program work for CMP’s TechWeb; both accounts were won last week.

Boston-based Carat Interactive has 150 staffers worldwide and of-fices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, as well as smaller satellite outposts in 16 international cities. Managing directors for all offices are expected to be announced eventually, filling new posts.

“Our vision is to provide a national service with local representation and a more extensive set of services,” said Fay.

Carat Interactive’s 2001 projected billings are approximately $100 million. Carat Freeman in Newton, Mass., is a unit of New York-based Carat North America, part of the Carat network, which claims about $12 billion in global billings. Carat Interactive had provided roughly 10 percent of Carat Freeman’s $700 million in overall billings. Robbie Caponetto