IQ News: APL Defectors to Launch New E-Commerce Shop

The widely-anticipated new company founded by former principals of APL Digital, the interactive arm of Ammirati Puris Lintas, will focus on electronic commerce, sources said last week.
Brian Cauley, the former APL Digital president expected to head the new venture, declined comment about the group’s plans. Sources said the shop will be billed as an e-commerce media company tentatively named Converging Arts, and that Cauley will serve as co-founder and president.
Cauley resigned from APL on March 12, and was followed out the door two weeks later by creative directors Grant Collier and Evan Lewis (who co-founded the unit with Cauley), director of production and technology Mark Avnet and media director Lynn Bolger. Sources said they all are involved in the new project.
At the time of their resignations, the division’s founders cited a lack of commitment to interactive business by senior management as the reason for their departure.
“We’re aggressive about how we want to go about this business,” Cauley said at the time. “We want to move it ahead much faster than the general agency is willing to move it. We just really think there’s so much of a bigger opportunity for us than the general agency is letting us grab.”
Said Lewis in March: “I think [APL is] interested in mining the internal client base and [simply] adding interactive to the marketing mix … I’m just more interested in getting into the whole e-commerce-enabled [sites] and what I consider to be the deeper space.”
It has been a tumultuous year overall at the agency. Rick Hadala, CEO of APL North America, was ousted in April after six months at the helm. Since the Cauley team defected, the Interpublic Group of Companies agency has vigorously recruited interactive execs from other agencies to replace them.
As of April 28, APL Digital’s new team includes: Keith Metzger as president, David Bennahum as executive vice president, strategic services and Douglas Rushkoff as chief strategist. APL Digital executives could not be reached for comment. ƒ