Search Exec Leaves Carat Interactive

NEW YORK Carat Interactive confirmed its top search-marketing executive has left the agency.

Ron Belanger, the Aegis Group interactive agency’s Boston-based vice president of search marketing, departed the firm to become vice president of marketing at BuyDomains.com, a Carat Interactive representative said. BuyDomains.com is a Boston-based firm that has 500,000 Internet sites that it uses to display keyword-priced advertisements. BuyDomains.com also resells domains for a premium.

Carat Interactive plans to name Belanger’s replacement in the next couple of weeks, the agency spokesman said.

The loss of Belanger underscores the difficulties some interactive agencies have in retaining top search executives. AQuantive’s Avenue A/Razorfish last month saw the departure of Rob Wilk, who was its director of search marketing. Wilk became director of marketing for Dennis Digital.

Search marketing expertise is in high demand as clients expand their search activities. According to Forrester Research, search advertising will comprise 39 percent of the $14.7 billion of Internet ad spending market this year.