Keating Magee Spins Off Media

Keating Magee has launched Pure Placement Media and hired veteran buyer Holly Edgerton McCollum to lead the new operation.

The full-service agency unbundled its media division just weeks after another New Orleans shop, Media Direct, closed its doors. McCollum, former executive vice president at Media Direct, brings with her a client list that includes Wilks Broadcasting and Boudreaux Fine Jewelers.

“There’s an opportunity in this market for a media-buying service, and we already have excellent resources,” said chief executive officer Jennifer K. Magee. “This will say to those clients who just want media-buying services that we’re putting a real focus on this, instead of it just being an afterthought.”

Keating Magee’s decision to spin off its media operation was part of a long-range plan formulated in 2000, before Media Direct’s demise, Magee said. The addition of McCollum ups the agency’s first-year projections from $4 million to about $8 million in total billings.

“With what Holly has brought on board we’re close to [the initial projection] already,” Magee said. “So she provides a real jump-start for the company. She also adds another layer of expertise to the existing staff. We’re always looking for people to come in and improve the excellence of the agency, and she’s one of those people.”

McCollum joins a 25-person staff that will share offices with Keating Magee for now, Magee said. Agency media director Bonnie Roberts will retain her position and existing responsibilities.

“It just made sense to join forces,” McCollum said. “I’ve already spoken to several [existing Keating Magee] clients since coming on board, and we’ve been fortunate to earn continued business. At this point, I feel we can meet any goal that we set.”

Keating Magee will continue to funnel its full-service clients through Pure Placement. The shop’s client roster includes the NBA’s Hornets, Legacy Organ Donor Foundation, the Alabama Organ Center and Partners for Healthy Babies.

McCollum is one of three major hires for Keating Magee in the past 18 months. Stewart Feigley joined the agency as vice president and creative director in late 2000. Janet Fabre was named vice president of strategic marketing last year.

McCollum has 16 years of experience in advertising and marketing, including buying for the D.H. Holmes department store chain and the Grand Casino in Biloxi, Miss.