Kelley Habib John Name Is Revived; Craig Carlson Joins the Boston Shop

By David Gianatasio

BOSTON–KHJ Integrated Marketing here has revived its old name and added three executives with the intention of continuing to sharpen its focus on mainstream consumer accounts.

Political consultant Craig Carlson has joined the shop–which will now be known as Kelley Habib John Integrated Marketing–as senior vice president and managing director.

The decision to revive the old name was made because the partners believed it was still widely recognized by prospective clients, said agency president Judy Habib.

The other appointments are David Thuma as vice president of client services and John Irving as director of on-line media.

Thuma previously worked at database marketing firm Object Design in Burlington, Mass. He has also held account service positions at Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson in Boston. Irving was brought into the KHJ fold when the agency absorbed his small interactive marketing firm, CyberSpace Construction, which had been in North Andover, Mass.

Carlson ran his own Boston consulting practice, Carlson Associates, for several years. He is perhaps best known for advising the Ad Club of Greater Boston on legislative issues in the early and mid-1990s.

At KHJ, he will develop sales strategies and open new distribution channels for consumer clients, he said.

Carlson first teamed up with the agency last year when he helped devise a marketing plan for Reflection Technology of Waltham, Mass. That plan included marketing the client’s hand-held fax machines to The Sharper Image and other high-end retail stores.

Carlson said he is looking to use his MBA from Boston College at the agency and does not foresee working on government issues at KHJ, despite his experience in that area.

His government background was, however, put to use in the review for AllEnergy’s $5 million ad account. KHJ is competing with Gearon Hoffman in Boston and Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I., to become the utility’s first ad agency.

Some years ago, he was registered with the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office as a lobbyist for CellularOne. Working on cellular telephone deregulation issues has primed him for helping AllEnergy, which is planning a major ad push as the utilities industry is deregulated, Carlson said.

The contenders made final presentations to AllEnergy executives nearly 10 days ago and are now awaiting word on the final decision.

They may have to wait a while longer. AllEnergy intends to announce a winner sometime next week, said

Bill Lestage, president of Cambridge Communications Group in Scituate, Mass., the consulting company that is overseeing the search.

AllEnergy executives are now ‘looking through the presentations crunching a lot of budgets and numbers’ supplied by the agencies, Lestage said last week.

Carlson, Thuma and Irving will all fill new positions. The 45-person agency was formed last May when the former KelleyHabibJohn bought high-tech specialty shop Duval Woglom Brueckner & Partners.

Since then, the shop has been on a new-business winning streak that has included additional assignments from Caritas Christi Health Care.

All told, after one year as a combined agency, the shop claims to have boosted billings 59 percent to the $42 million level, placing it among the 15 largest ad agencies in the New England market.

With Carlson and the other new hires on board, the shop will continue to try to move away from its image as a high-tech specialty shop, Habib said.

Editor’s note: Due to a production error, only a portion of this story ran in the April 21 issue. This is the story in its entirety.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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