Fueled by a desire to make interactive capabilities more of a top-of-mind consideration for clients, J. Walter Thompson has hired Kevin Wassong as its first director of new media.
Wassong's mandate as a senior partner at JWT here will be to expand interactive opportunities within the agency's existing client base and to help make interactive an integral, proactive part of the shop's strategic offerings.
The size and scope of Wassong's staff is yet to be determined.
Wassong, 30, came from Radical.Media here, where he headed the interactive division of the commercial production and entertainment firm. Wassong joined Radical.Media at the end of last year after a stint at Lowe & Partners/SMS, where he worked with JWT president Bob
Jeffrey on the Sun Microsystems account. He reports to Jeffrey at JWT.
"The Internet is an emerging channel of distribution for marketers. We need to have a high level of expertise in this area in order to maximize our clients' brand strategies," said Jeffrey.
Jeffrey noted that many of JWT's clients, from DeBeers to Merrill Lynch, have made a commitment to Internet commerce.
Previously, the New York office had used the interactive capabilities of JWT shops in San Francisco and Detroit.
This move to beef up interactive is the latest network-wide JWT effort toward "total branding," the shop's integrated branding initiative.