Execs and Accounts for December 16, 2002

BellSouth has tapped breatheinteractive as its agency of record for online media planning and buying. The assignment, awarded after a review, will include strategic media planning and buying, trafficking, campaign maintenance, tracking, weekly reporting, competitive research and search engine optimization. The agency will handle all BellSouth online media business, servicing multiple business lines.

Breatheinteractive currently handles interactive and direct initiatives for BellSouth’s directory advertising services division, BAPCO, in collaboration with parent agency WestWayne, which has managed the business for 18 years. Additionally, the agency and its staff have worked with BellSouth previously across several business units, including Residential, Small Business and DSL.

Absolut has chosen FitzGerald Communications as its public relations agency of record for online marketing programs. FitzGerald will plan, manage and execute communications programs that support the vodka maker’s online and interactive marketing efforts throughout the U.S. The agency will work closely with Springtime, Absolut’s interactive design agency in Sweden, as well as TBWA Chiat Day, the brand’s longtime ad agency. The account is managed out of FitzGerald’s New York City office.

“We were looking for a U.S. public relations agency that demonstrated a unique combination of experience working with Internet companies and established consumer brands,” said Michael Persson, communications director for Absolut. “FitzGerald was our choice based on their creativity and strong interactive media track record coupled with their ability to create and manage major brand messages across various media.”

FitzGerald has already completed its first initiative on behalf of Absolut, a project focused on the promotion of Absolut album covers, an interactive destination celebrating the golden age of vinyl. The agency is currently collaborating with Absolut and Springtime on preparations for the launch of Absolut’s revised Web site — absolut.com 2.0 — to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2003.

The Discovery Channel has chosen analytics player Omniture’s SiteCatalyst product to provide analysis of customer and visitor activity for its online store. SiteCatalyst will help The Discovery Channel Store understand how visitors navigate its site and which products they are interested in. This will in turn help the e-commerce destination optimize its online product offerings and site layout.

“We are pleased that the Discovery Channel has selected Omniture for their e-business analytic needs,” said Josh James, chief executive officer of Omniture. “SiteCatalyst technology enables our customers to easily gain insight into the factors that most influence their online ROI. Also, with our rapid implementation process, we were able to begin providing information literally within hours of signing the contract.”

Commission Junction has named Jeff Pullen, who has been serving as president, to the additional post of chief executive officer. Pullen, in turn, has added Jim Buckley to the executive team as chief financial officer and Elizabeth Cholawsky as senior VP of marketing and product development.

“The board has witnessed tremendous progress this year under Jeff’s leadership as he has strengthened the executive team and positioned the company for continued growth by introducing new products and services and attracting new brand name clients,” said Lex Sisney, chairman of the board and co-founder.

BoldFish has picked up Forefield, a provider of sales solutions for financial institutions, as a customer. Forefield has chosen BoldFish to power its e-mail alerts and automated e-mail marketing campaigns, providing time-sensitive market data to financial advisors and institutions. Forefield said this would increase its ability to provide its customers with concise and compliant financial planning information.

Brent Delehey, CEO of Forefield, said, “BoldFish provided us with an extremely cost-effective solution that enables us to keep financial advisors informed of changes in the market as they happen so that they can, in turn, contact their clients with appropriate financial planning strategies.”

For more breaking news on account action and executive moves, visit ChannelSeven.com.

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