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OoVoo Nixes Advertising Review After Finding Shop

Referral from ID Media led to Gotham hire
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Online video chat player OoVoo had planned to launch an advertising review but didn’t have the time.

Instead, new chief marketing officer Matthew de Ganon turned someone he trusted in the media agency world for advice. ID Media CEO Lynn Fantom introduced de Ganon to fellow Interpublic Group shop Gotham, and after a half-dozen meetings, de Ganon had found his company’s first lead creative agency.

Gotham CEO Peter McGuinness and his colleagues were “very aggressive,” said de Ganon. “They were excited about the product and they came to the table with a lot of terrific ideas.”

In terms of projected media spending, the account is relatively small: between $5 million and $10 million. For Gotham, however, OoVoo has value beyond its media spend. The agency known historically for its polished TV work for Maybelline is seeking to burnish its credentials in digital marketing and the bulk of OoVoo’s marketing needs is online.

Gotham, for example, will create video content, redesign OoVoo’s Web site and drive social media efforts. Offline work will be limited to billboards and event marketing. The agency’s first work is expected in July.

OoVoo’s arrival coincides with a digital hiring spree at Gotham. About 18 percent of the shop’s 140 staffers are online specialists—up from just a handful in early 2010. In the same timeframe, the percentage of total revenue supplied by digital assignments has jumped from less than 1 percent to more than a third today.

The digital revenue growth spurt stems chiefly from clients like Denny’s, Best Western, Chobani, Hitachi and Newman’s Own beefing up their online presence and having confidence in Gotham to execute in that space. The work ranges from site work and banner ads to the development of mobile applications.

Prior to Gotham, OoVoo hire creative agencies on a project basis. ID Media is handling the media planning and buying.

De Ganon arrived at OoVoo—the second largest video chat service behind Skype—in January. Before that, he was a senior vice president in charge of weather.com at The Weather Channel.