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Hill Adds Design Exec

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By David Gianatasio and Judy Warner
Kasper to Integrate Messages Across Media
BOSTON--Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos has recruited a seasoned creative executive to re-energize its design unit and help the agency better deliver integrated brand messages in an increasingly complex media landscape.
Bob Kasper is currently consulting to the Boston shop and plans to come on staff Jan. 1 as an executive vice president, serving as director of integrated design. A formal title has not yet been created.
Kasper will work on specific design projects and become a resource for integrating client brand messages throughout the agency, said Hill, Holliday president Fred Bertino.
In the short term, Kasper is charged with making sure brand messages are uniform and highly integrated across various media, Bertino said. Kasper will ensure that "the look and feel of [client] brands through different media have no contradictions," Bertino said.
"The long-term mission for us as an organization is to take a look at new media and have Hill, Holliday be a leader in integration," Kasper said. "We want to look at integrating the disciplines so that, in theory, I can have an art director or copywriter be as involved with an interactive or direct piece" as staffers in those various departments, he said.
"I think the Web harkens back to the days when ad agencies created content" for network television programming, Kasper explained. As the Web continues to expand, shops are once again content creators, designing sites and providing the vehicles in which branding messages are presented, he said. "Agencies will be selling content. We want to be ahead of that curve."
Integrated design is a new discipline within Hill, Holliday, but one that some other agencies have already adopted. For example, Boston-based direct marketing giant Bronner Slosberg Humphrey places special emphasis on integrating brand messages regardless of the media being used.
Bertino recruited Kasper into the Hill, Holliday fold. The two met years ago when they worked in the creative department at the former Humphrey Browning MacDougall in Boston. Most recently, Kasper was a senior creative executive for America Online, which he joined following AOL's 1994 buyout of Redgate Communications, a multimedia agency in Cambridge, Mass.