Hill’s Master Rebuilder: Rossi

Rebuilding interactive capabilities nationwide for Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos is the primary goal for Laurel Rossi, chief integration officer of the Interpublic Group agency.

Hill, Holliday’s recent agreement to purchase SF Interactive [Adweek, Feb. 26], is the agency’s boldest stroke yet to re-establish itself in the Internet marketing space. Rossi has promised, however, that adding SFI is not the last such move that Hill, Holliday will make.

“As an agency, our goal is to own performance online for our clients,” Rossi said.

Organic growth is important as well. Hill, Holliday recently added senior-level interactive staff in both its New York office and Boston headquarters.

“She absolutely understands what clients need,” said Hill, Holliday chairman and CEO Jack Connors. “She understands the need for flexibility and for thoughtful strategic solutions for individual clients’ needs. Clients’ needs today are greater in magnitude than they used to be because there are more tools in the tool kit.”

Hill, Holliday’s interactive capabilities were depleted more than a year ago when the agency’s interactive marketing unit was merged with other Interpublic units to form Zentropy Partners, Cambridge, Mass.

In addition to rebuilding, Rossi is charged with making sure cross-departmental integration runs smoothly, allowing the agency to offer a wider array of services. For example, as part of the $50 million Verizon Wireless account, the agency is working on a campaign to drive customers to the client’s Northeast retail stores. In addition to traditional media advertising, Hill, Holliday has fashioned an online newsletter allowing Verizon customers to access information about their service. The agency is also conducting online customer relationship management chores for Brookline, Mass.-based UPromise, preparatory to launching direct marketing and advertising initiatives.

Before joining Hill, Holliday in 1999, Rossi, 41, served as president of Integrated Marketing Solutions, a division of Gloucester, Mass.-based promotions company Cyrk. Previously, as director of marketing at Cyrk, she developed business for clients such as Pepsi-Cola, Citibank and MasterCard International.