Ex-McCanner Heads Brodia Search

Benza Resurfaces at Web Company and Launches Ad Review
SAN FRANCISCO–Brodia, a free Web-based shopping service, is talking to a handful of Bay Area shops about its $15-20 million ad account.
The review is being handled by Brodia’s new vice president of marketing Ron Benza, the former general manager of McCann-Erickson here. He joined the client a month ago.
Benza resigned from the agency earlier this summer [Adweek, June 14]. The move came just weeks after McCann and Anderson & Lembke, San Francisco, were jointly awarded Microsoft’s $50-100 million Windows account.
“I had intended to take an extended sabbatical,” said Benza, “but I heard about this opportunity, and I decided to meet with them. They have a really smart team here at Brodia, and I said, ‘This is the one.’ “
Benza said Brodia is already working with a list of at least three finalists. “We’ve been talking with agencies we feel met our criteria. They’re shops that are kind of scrappy and aren’t a big network-type agency like McCann or J. Walter Thompson that can’t pay close attention to the needs of our business.”
Benza said a final decision in the review could come as early as this week. “We want to get on the air with a branding campaign by mid-October, so we need to make a choice quickly,” he said.
Benza said the winning agency will be responsible for creating a national multimedia effort that will most likely include broadcast, print, outdoor and online advertising.
Brodia, based in San Francisco and formerly called Transactor Networks, recently received a $30 million investment from Capital Z Financial Services Fund II L.P. and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Benza said the e-commerce company is working to arrange more venture-capital funding, and plans to pursue an initial public offering at some point next year.
Brodia offers a free “remote-control shopping” service that allows consumers buying products online to access an “e-wallet” that can hold multiple credit-card numbers and shipping addresses. Consumers can also keep organized order records on the site.
In addition, Brodia’s service catalogs the favorite shopping destinations of consumers so they can receive incentives and be alerted to special offers from their favorite retailers.