At the same time Trone Advertising won its second major client this year--commercial Internet service provider PSINet--agency president and chief executive officer Jim Feeney announced he would oversee the Greensboro, N.C., shop from a newly opened office in New York.
A veteran Gotham ad man who joined Trone two years ago, Feeney said he relocated to New York last month for "personal reasons, but just as many business" motives.
Feeney will serve existing clients from his Park Avenue address, as well as pursue new business, with a focus on the telecom industry. He will maintain his office in Greensboro.
Although PSINet is based in Herndon, Va., New York provided the connection with Trone. Feeney said PSINet noticed ads running in New York for Trone client WinStar Telecommunications.
"One of [PSINet's] senior sales guys called the top guy at WinStar and asked who did their advertising," Feeney said. PSINet executives recognized Feeney's name from his 10-year stint at defunct Ally & Gargano, New York, where he guided MCI's consumer marketing launch.
At press time it was unclear whether there was an incumbent on PSINet's ad account or if a formal review took place. Client officials could not be reached for comment.
Although the budget was not disclosed, Feeney said PSINet will be among the top three accounts at Trone, which reports billings of $103 million. Competitive Media Reporting tracked the client's 1997 media expenditures at just $1.1 million.
"Our charge is to create awareness [for PSINet] and to get the phones to ring," Feeney said. Targeting small and medium businesses, Trone has produced four TV spots scheduled to break later this month on national cable stations including CNN and CNBC. A fifth spot will be used internationally, Feeney said.
In February, Trone won the $14 million ad business of Oakwood Homes Corp. [Adweek, Feb. 23].