IQ News: Organic Online Opens New York Office, Taps Bates Exec



By LAURA RICH





Silicon Valley will finally meet Madison Avenue, now that Organic Online, one of the West Coast’s most prominent new media shops, has decided to open a New York office. Organic, partially owned by Omnicom Group’s Communicade unit, has already begun work on existing client Colgate out of New York and is close to signing four more clients.





‘San Francisco has Silicon Valley, but the entertainment and business communities are in New York,’ said Jonathan Nelson, Organic’s chief executive, of the move east. ‘This is a logical step for us.’





The New York office, which will start up with seven staffers, will be headed by Mike Golden. He joins Organic as a vice president from Bates Interactive, where he was vice president and director of interactive programming. ‘We wanted to take things to another level,’ said Golden of his Bates Interactive work. ‘You can’t do that within (an agency) structure.’





Nelson said Organic’s New York outpost will be a ‘full-service, standalone office, but it will share resources like research’ with the San Francisco base. The office will offer technology capabilities for clients as well as account and creative teams. Sources said additional clients may include some from the Bates Interactive roster.





Organic’s move follows expansions by new media shops Digital Evolution, Los Angeles, and Studio Archetype, San Francisco, which opened satellite offices in New York earlier this year, as well as branches established by most Web publishers, such as Yahoo! and CNET.





‘The tide is coming in,’ said Chan Suh, president of Agency.com, a sister Communicade shop, which opened a London office to service British Airways in the fall. ‘It’s good for Silicon Valley to realize there’s business on the East Coast.’





Organic Online was founded in 1993 by Nelson, who also launched and spun off directory site BigBook and measurement software company Accrue. Organic clients have included Nike, Levi’s, Lucasfilm (for which it produced the official Star Wars site), Harley-Davidson and Kinko’s.





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