IQ News: Lot21 Hires Ad Vet To Direct Expansion

Interactive agency Lot21 has brought in an advertising veteran from the traditional media world to spearhead the company’s expansion, which includes the addition of two new divisions, CEO Kate Everett-Thorp told IQ.
In the newly created position of general manager, Michael White will lead all divisions of the company. He comes from McCann-Erickson/Anderson & Lembke, where he served for the past four years as executive group director. “I’ve worked for the two best companies out there,” White said. “To be able to take my experience and use it in this new frontier is so exciting for me.”
White’s traditional background rounds out the agency’s skill set, Everett-Thorp said. “It’s important you have advertising expertise as well as online expertise,” she said. “Good advertising principles are important–you don’t want to be setting logos on fire.”
As part of its expansion, the company has set up two new divisions. A new Web Marketing division will build sites from the ground up, partnering with technology companies when needed. The second new division, Client Services, will focus on marketing rather than business strategy. Lot21 has been providing some of these client services for several months, so the expansion is a natural progression, Everett-Thorp said.
Two other executives were brought in to head up the new divisions, both of which have dedicated staffs of 10. Geene Rees was named director of the Web Marketing group. While Lot21 has built a number of advertising microsites, the new division will now be able to design sites from the ground up to meet clients’ marketing needs. Rees was director of client services at Novo Interactive, San Francisco.
Norma Manty was appointed director of strategic consulting. The group may help incubating companies validate their business plans as well as enable established brands to reinvent themselves for the online world. Manty was director of Internet services at the Leonhardt Group, a Seattle marketing communications firm.
The fast-growing agency, founded in February 1998 by CNET alumni, plans to triple its staff by the end of next year. Lot21 has a staff of 100 in San Francisco, plus five in the New York office, which opened in mid-November. Total billings for online in 1998 were $10 million, and it expects to close out this year with billings of $32 million. n