Adney Brings Client Perspective to Initiative

LOS ANGELES Joe Adney has joined Interpublic Group’s Initiative as senior vice president and group account director, the media services company confirmed.

Adney will report to Rich Simms, executive vice president and general manager, Western region. Adney will assume some of the duties of recently retired Jack Silver, former executive vice president and group account director.

Adney, who most recently served for five years as senior director of marketing for Initiative client Baskin-Robbins, Los Angeles, led the company’s marketing alliance with DreamWorks SKG for Shrek. Working with Initiative, Los Angeles, Adney said Baskin-Robbins’ promulgated a nationally prominent marketing strategy.

“From personal experience, what Initiative brought to us was target-audience recognition, proprietary research, the impact of nag-factor and receptivity theory,” said Adney. “That allowed us to change our media strategy, opened up opportunities for sales. The Shrek promotion led to record double-digit same-store sales.”

Adney began his career at Dancer Fitzgerald Sample, San Francisco, then became assistant product manager at Activision. He later worked in account services at McCann-Erickson and DDB in San Francisco. After working in several cities for First Nationwide Network, Adney moved to Los Angeles for an eight-year stint as director of marketing for Walt Disney Co.’s interactive division.

An Initiative representative said that while it is not unprecedented for the company to hire from the client side (for instance, Rob Claxton, senior vice president and general manager, Southeast region, Atlanta, came from Montgomery Ward), it is “rare.”

“I’ll try to bring a client’s perspective back to Initiative,” said Adney. “With the background that I have, in understanding what clients are looking to do with their businesses, I will help Initiative understand how to best apply its resources and services.”