Initiative Goes Virtual

Shop Forms Unit for Net Clients
LOS ANGELES–Looking to stay on top of its 70-odd dot-com clients’ changing offline-ad needs, Initiative Media North America has launched a new unit called
Lou Schultz, Initiative chairman and CEO, described the group as a “virtual agency,” where its 15 members will come together as needed.
The unit includes Initiative executives from the U.S. and is responsible for the gamut of dot-com offline ad efforts, Schultz said, such as local and national broadcast and direct marketing. “We have experts in each of those areas,” said Schultz. “When we [acquire a dot-com client], they will come together.” Initiative claims $750 million in dot-com billings. includes vp/associate director of network broadcast Betty Pumpian and account director Robert Holtkamp in Los Angeles, and network radio buyer Gary Carr in New York; a local broadcast director, not yet named, will be based in San Francisco. All staff will report to Mike Lotito, Initiative president and COO. Initiative’s New Media unit will continue to buy online media for all clients. Lynn Bolger, who formerly ran Ammirati Puris Lintas’ digital unit, recently joined to head up New Media. is a response to media agencies having to cope with such challenges as the dot-com world’s nuances and changing offline strategies. The unit’s organic approach is one of several models, such as buying online ad agencies and creating autonomous in-house units. So far, each model has enjoyed billings success. For example, Carat’s Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., has 70 dot-com clients with billings totaling $600 million. K