Brain Bug to Get European Visa

BOSTON-Thanks to an affiliation with a British holding company, Brain Bug may soon be working for its biggest client yet: Visa International.
Outrider, a London-based new media holding company, last month purchased 60 percent of the Avon, Conn., interactive firm. As part of the deal, Brain Bug general manager and founder Matt Straznitskas and creative director Eric Knight will remain on board and operate independently, reporting to Outrider chief executive officer Rob Norman.
Three Outrider shops are expected to handle interactive media buying and creative chores in Europe for Visa, sources said.
Brain Bug would work on Web site development and banner ads for the credit card as it moves into European markets. Multimedia Marketing Group, a full-service interactive advertising and public relations firm in Bend, Ore., and Kokopelli New Media, a New York-based company that creates content for Web sites, will also handle some chores for Visa.
Outrider is owned by Tempus Group in London, which also owns CIA Medianetwork, the current media buying agency for Visa in Europe.
Representatives at the San Francisco-based client did not return calls by press time.
Visa spent $3.7 million on Internet advertising for the first nine months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Brain Bug recently promoted Mark Olivieri from senior consultant to manager of client services. He replaces Dean Simmons, a former Mintz & Hoke account executive who returned to that Avon, Conn., shop earlier this month as vice president and management supervisor.
Since its inception two years ago, Brain Bug has developed a client list that includes some of the region’s major insurance and healthcare entities, including Aetna, Arrow Pharmacies and Medspan. ƒ