Advertising, Marketing Firms Safe but Shaken

Like hundreds of companies located in lower Manhattan, advertising and marketing firms are scrambling to count heads and come up with contingency plans, as their offices remain closed in the wake of Tuesday’s attacks on the World Trade Center.

Web development firm K2 Digital, a division of Integrated Information Systems, has its headquarters at 30 Broad Street in downtown Manhattan, scant blocks from what’s now the wreckage of the World Trade Center complex.

And K2 isn’t alone in its proximity to the epicenter of the tragedy., and its i-traffic media buying subsidiary, are headquartered at 20 Exchange Place, quite near to the site where buildings continue to burn and collapse. For these companies, the last few days have been filled with myriad difficulties.

“Our primary focus the last day or so is to make sure all our employees are okay,” said Esther Han, the New York regional president for set up a password-protected Web site where employees could log in and post news of their safety, and the safety of colleagues. Thankfully, it found everyone unhurt in the mayhem, and employees have been working from home and in satellite offices, keeping in close phone contact.

“There are just tons of technical issues,” said Han, referring to the difficulty of working on projects from remote locations, but adding that all important data was backed up and stored in a safe place.

K2 Digital, too, has accounted for all of its employees. “Thank you to our friends, colleagues and clients for your concern,” wrote K2’s Matthew de Ganon in an e-mail to contacts. “We will continue operations and service electronically and keep in contact with our clients via e-mail and home phones. We will most likely be physically back in the office on Monday, 9/17.”

Even companies located further north, like e-mail marketing firm NetCreations, are being affected by events, since relief efforts have dictated the closure of Manhattan below 14th Street.

“Our offices are closed but we are working remotely,” said Michael Mayor, the company’s vice president of sales. “Everyone at NetCreations is fine, thank God.”

Web development firms Razorfish and Organic also have offices below 14th Street. The most noticeable effect the disaster has had on Razorfish is the downing of its Web site. Visitors to are met with an error message, presumably because of a downed server that no one could reach to repair.

Callers to Razorfish’s Mercer Street headquarters are met with a greeting that says: “Thank you for calling Razorfish’s corporate offices. Today is Thursday, September 13. The New York office will be closed due to the closure of parts of the city and the office location. Employees please check your voice mail for updates on when the office will be open.”

Calls to Organic to determine the status of its lower Broadway office were not returned by press time.

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