RPA Forms Direct Response Media Division

LOS ANGELES Independent RPA has established a direct response television media planning and buying division. Leticia Lopez, manager of direct response media, will head the new unit, the company confirmed.

Lopez was most recently an account supervisor at Carat USA, Los Angeles, and worked in direct response at Western International Media (now Initiative).

“RPA is dedicated to client partnership,” said Lopez. “The introduction of DR at RPA fits into the shifting marketplace of accountability. Major brand advertisers are seeing what DR can do for them, particularly in the area of insurance, financial services and healthcare.”

“It’s a specialized business,” said Cathleen Campe, senior vice president and director of spot broadcasting, to whom Lopez will report. “We have clients that were already in the field of DR and we needed a unit to handle their needs. More and more, clients are moving toward direct response for measurable results.”

The Santa Monica, Calif., agency has already attracted to its new division WellPoint Health Networks, Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia and Missouri, Unicare and Charles Schwab & Co., for which RPA has handled media buying. Campe said these companies are using DR to increase enrollment in their plans or as “specific calls to action.”

“RPA’s DR division will be special in the sense that it will be working with veteran brand advertisers rather than just the product-driven client typical of direct response,” said Lopez. “Our division will build the brand as well as enhance current media.”