Initiative Launches N.Y. New Media Unit

NEW YORK In the latest sign of the emphasis agencies have put on helping clients engage with new media, Interpublic Group’s Initiative this week will open a New York outpost of its Los Angeles-based Innovations unit.

Innovations was established in 2005 to develop techniques for maximizing the effectiveness of traditional media and to help clients understand and apply emerging media to marketing plans. The architect of the group is Alan Cohen, evp, managing director, Initiative West. When he launched the practice two-and-half years ago, it had four staff people. Now it has 60 and is considered one of the agency’s most important and rapidly growing diversified services.

Cohen has named Dave Rosner, Innovations project manager, to the new post of director of Innovations, Initiative East. He will oversee the East Coast operation, which will staff up over the next few months, said Cohen. Over time, he added, given the interest they’ve received from clients such as CBS, Showtime and Victoria’s Secret, “we think the New York group will grow bigger than the one in Los Angeles.”

Rosner is credited with developing the first full-time mobile-video channel with original content dedicated to a single product, Lionsgate’s Saw III.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Haber has been promoted to director of Innovations, Initiative West, where he has been a project manager at the unit. Haber was named a 2006 Media All-Star by Adweek sister publication Mediaweek for creating integrated emerging media efforts for Showtime and other clients.

Both Rosner and Haber report to Cohen.