Ex-Butler Exec Joins Ascentium

David Blum, formerly head of interactive at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, is joining tech development shop Ascentium.

Blum, 40, will serve as chief client officer, tasked with shifting the Seattle-based company from tech projects to long-term agency relationships.

Ascentium offers strategy, experience design and tech services. It has 350 employees at five offices. Its clients include Samsonite, Dell and Cisco.
Blum (pictured above) spent nearly three-and-a-half years at Butler, where he served as executive director of interactive services. His client work included RadioShack, Epson and Chipotle. Prior to joining Butler, Blum was managing director for Web development at Razorfish in Seattle. He founded marketing operation Tangible Studios and also worked for Sapient as a senior brand strategist.
His background in technology interested him in using interactive as more than a method of pushing out ad messages, Blum said, with Ascentium having an ability to build agency services atop a strong tech base focused on creating customer experiences.
“At the end of the day, Butler wanted to do digital advertising,” he said. “To me, digital advertising is a tiny relatively unimportant sliver of the ecosystem.”
Several tech-oriented shops have tried the transition into agencies. Sapient has sought to move from its roots as an IT integrator and back-end shop into an integrated agency, in part by scooping up creative shop Nitro Group.
Adding in traditional creative capabilities is down the road, Blum said.
“We’re going to have to be opportunistic, looking for where we can invest in current clients to bring them business-building ideas,” Blum said. “Eighteen months from now I’d like to be in the mix for larger AOR assignments.”