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Indy Shop Gets Interactive Unit

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Y&L Division Expected to Broaden Scope of Agency's Services
CHICAGO--Young & Laramore has spun off a unit called Y&L Interactive in an effort to capitalize on Internet opportunities.
The new division of the Indianapolis shop will provide a "deeper and even richer resource for our existing client base," said agency president Paul Knapp.
Y&L Interactive will be run by Dana Root, an interactive specialist who started as a consultant with the agency in January. Previously a creative director at Gabriel Interactive in Indianapolis, Root has a background in traditional art direction as well as interactive marketing.
Root said the agency has been ready for the Internet age. "Young & Laramore as a whole has always been interactive in its philosophy," Root said.
She said her role is to create "cultural bridges" between traditional and interactive advertising, extending the interactive philosophy deeper in the agency.
"The first step really is to help the current staff," she said. That means making sure everyone is aware of interactive possibilities for clients, including creatives who often focus on traditional advertising approaches, she said.
Creative director Carolyn Hadlock says Root is well-equipped to accomplish this goal. With backgrounds in both worlds, Root effectively conveys the brand message on the Internet without getting caught up in the technology, she said.
The four or five staffers dedicated to the interactive agency will be able to call upon Y&L's creatives as well as a network of freelance programming and e-commerce professionals, Knapp said.
"We will focus on developing a unit that does stand on its own but remains fully integrated with the rest of the agency," Knapp said.
The division is expected to work with current clients but will also be empowered to pursue and secure business outside the roster, Knapp said.
Y&L Interactive's first assignment comes from audio manufacturer Monsoon, an existing Y&L client.
Y&L's client roster also includes hair products manufacturer Kenra, SteakShake restaurants, and Red Gold tomatoes. The agency has billings of $36 million. K