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Dating Site Enlists Former Ditech Exec

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LOS ANGELES Online dating service eHarmony has tapped Philip Armstrong as its first chief marketing officer, the company said.

A former Ditech marketing executive, Armstrong said eHarmony would preserve the integrity of the brand by continuing to tap into the "power of testimonials that work so well they can't be faked."

Armstrong said his arrival would not signal agency changes. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company uses independent direct-response specialist Donat/Wald in Santa Monica, Calif., for television and radio ads; Omnicom Group's Tribal DDB in Venice, Calif., for online efforts; and independent Ocean Media in Huntington Beach, Calif., for buying and planning duties.

The client spent more than $60 million advertising in 2005, per TNS Media Intelligence.

"I expect a greater presence on the Web" for eHarmony moving forward, Armstrong said. "In this period of digital globalization, we expect to see great changes with social communities and networks." Using MySpace as an example, Armstrong said there is "great potential for community and social networks built around our loyalists."

The company is known for "the trustworthiness and image derived from founder [and commercial pitchman] Dr. Neil Clark Warren," Armstrong said, and campaigns would never be permitted to tarnish that image by promising something "slick or suggesting casual dating. It's contrary to the mission of eHarmony. We have to let the consumers define the brand."

Most recently, he was vice president of marketing at Ditech in Costa Mesa, Calif., where he helped develop the "Lost another one to Ditech" campaign.

An industry executive for more than 10 years, Armstrong has held senior media jobs at the former Dancer Fitzgerald Sample in San Francisco, and worked at Interpublic Group's Dailey & Associates' Bay Area office.