Current Media Puts Review on Hold

NEW YORK Current Media’s search for an agency to handle creative duties on its advertising account has been put on hold amid a change in marketing leadership, sources said.

Current had used Twitter to generate interest in its initial RFP.

As such, the review generated buzz beyond the size of the account, which amounts to less than $1 million in revenue.

Now, however, a client executive involved in the Twitter solicitation, vice president of brand Jordan Kretchmer (pictured above), has exited, said sources. In his place, Current has appointed Michael Streefland, albeit with a slightly different title: svp of marketing.

When reached via e-mail, Streefland acknowledged the pause in the review, indicating that Current executives needed time to chart the brand’s strategic course.

“The Current RFP triggered a lot of constructive internal discussion and we realized we put the cart before the horse and need to lay down some strategic direction before we engage with a creative agency to execute upon that direction,” Streefland wrote. “Those discussions are happening right now and we should emerge in a few weeks with an update for the agencies.”

Previously, Streefland worked as a consultant to media companies under the banner of Streefland Consulting Group. Before that, he was svp of marketing and sales at SK Telecom’s Cyworld USA, according to a posting on LinkedIn.

Kretchmer’s exit came after he e-mailed agencies interested in Current’s account, telling them that RFP process would be delayed for up to a month.

The company’s top execs have “decided that we have a significant amount of work to do on our end, figuring who Current needs to be, and their consensus is that that should be an internal task,” Kretchmer wrote in the e-mail.

“They will be holding executive/board summits over the next few weeks in an effort to solidify a strategic direction for the organization. And once aligned, we will be in a better position to select an agency.”

When reached by Adweek, Kretchmer described the split with Current as a “mutually amicable resignation.” He added that he is now “pursuing a venture startup.” He declined to comment further.

Launched by Al Gore and Joel Hyatt in 2004, Current Media includes the Current TV cable and satellite network and Current.com.

The San Francisco-based company distributed its RFP in early May and interested agencies replied by the end of that month. Current originally planned to visit five to seven agencies in late June before selecting three finalists, according to the RFP.

Given the postponement, that schedule has been pushed back.