ICrossing Brings on Agency.com Staffers

NEW YORK Three months after he resigned as CEO of Agency.com, Don Scales has brought four former colleagues to join him at search marketing shop iCrossing.

The new recruits are: Colin Turley, managing director; Marlin Jackson, vp of business development; Lori Wilson, creative director; and Rob Garner, senior strategic planner.

Those four, who worked for Scales in Agency.com’s Dallas office, will establish iCrossing’s fifth domestic outpost there.

Scales spent three years at Omnicom Group-owned Agency.com, initially serving as COO before his advancement to CEO in 2004. Though credited with putting the Web shop on solid financial ground in the wake of the dot-com collapse, he resigned in February following a dispute with Omnicom management over aligning Agency.com with TBWA Worldwide.

The new hires will put the agency on a growth trajectory in the fragmented search marketing and optimization industry, according to Scales, by extending expertise and account services from the agency’s Scottsdale, Ariz., headquarters. “We want to get ourselves in the position where this thing is a lot more scalable,” he said.

Agency.com and iCrossing compete in offering search services, but each shop has a somewhat different focus. Agency.com is a full-service interactive agency, while iCrossing specializes in search.

Scales said the former Agency.com employees contacted him about joining iCrossing after he joined. An Agency.com representative declined to comment.

While advertisers have rushed to spend money on search ads, helping Google to $2.3 billion in revenue in the first quarter, they have neglected search optimization, the art and science of making their Web pages more likely to show up high on a search results page, according to Scales. Studies have shown 80 percent of clicks occur in the so-called natural search results. “Clients are going to be asking for combination of the two,” Scales said. “We bring a unique capability to do that.”