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Avenue A Expands to Midwest

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NEW YORK Avenue A has opened a Chicago outpost, with JCPenney.com as its first client.

The aQuantive unit was selected by the retailer to manage its online media planning and buying and search-marketing efforts at the end of last year without a review.

Vice president and general manager Maggie Boyer, who most recently oversaw business development in the region as vp in the Midwest, will lead the five-person office. Previously, Boyer, 28, spent five years at Avenue A's Seattle headquarters, where she headed up the agency's media group operations and publisher relations as vice president of media.

"We believe opening up shop in Chicago will solidify our efforts in the region and position us for further growth," said Avenue A president Clark Kokich.

Avenue A already serves the needs of a number of clients in the central U.S., including Best Buy of Minneapolis and Columbus, Ohio-based Victoria's Secret. The former will continue to be handled out of Seattle and the latter, New York.

This is the third expansion for aQuantive in its seven-year history; the digital marketing and technology company established a Philadelphia presence with its late 2002 purchase of iFrontier, and a New York one with its 1999 acquisition of iballs, which was renamed Avenue A/NYC in early 2001.