Kaplan Thaler Forms KTG Buzz

NEW YORK Publicis Groupe’s The Kaplan Thaler Group has launched a new unit, KTG Buzz, to enhance publicity for its clients, and tapped Erin Johnson as its director, the agency said.

The move comes as the New York shop seeks to formalize its integration efforts following the October appearance of Procter & Gamble’s Clairol Herbal Essences on the WB’s What I Like About You. The episode centered on a singing contest sponsored by the hair care brand and introduced the singer Jaydn Maria in the show and in a spot the agency created that ran immediately following the broadcast.

Last week, one of Kaplan Thaler’s largest clients, Aflac, confirmed that the shop helped negotiate a deal with Paramount Pictures to get the insurer’s duck a cameo in the new film, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which opens Dec. 17.

Johnson, who joined last month from MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York, said the agency realized there is a market among its clients for creating such “buzz” and that she was brought aboard “to run the established unit. It’s another service to offer clients” both in and outside of the shop.

Johnson reports to shop CEO and chief creative officer Linda Kaplan Thaler and managing director of KTG corporate communications Tricia Kenney.

Johnson was director of corporate communications at KB+P for six years. Before that, she was a publicist at Miramax.

Kaplan Thaler’s clients include Continental Airlines, Foxwoods Casino, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Pfizer and Panasonic.