Execs and Accounts for January 6, 2003

Hewlett Packard has consolidated its roster of worldwide interactive ad agency partners. Goodby Silverstein & Partners will be the lead agency for developing the online component of HP’s branding efforts; Modem Media and FCBi have been selected as the worldwide network agency for HP’s interactive advertising; and OptiMedia will continue to be responsible for media placement worldwide. Additionally, The Publicis Groupe will have a limited interactive ad engagement for HP’s Personal Systems Group.

HP said the firms were designated based on their creative strengths in interactive advertising, strategic support capabilities and global reach.

“The selection of these agencies is integral to strengthening the impact of HP’s innovative and creative advertising presence online and also enhances our ability to speak with one voice worldwide,” said Gary Elliott, VP of HP’s brand and marketing communications.

HP’s “Everything is Possible” brand campaign, which launched in the United States in November 2002, included a significant interactive component. The online ads appeared on major media sites, including premier placement on Yahoo! for a week.

E-mail marketer Bigfoot Interactive has promoted Michael Della Penna to chief marketing officer from his previous role as VP of marketing. Prior to Bigfoot, Della Penna served as VP of strategic development at CNET and VP of marketing at ZDNet.

“Michael’s expertise has significantly impacted Bigfoot Interactive’s leadership position in a highly competitive marketplace,” said Al DiGuido, CEO of Bigfoot Interactive. “His vital understanding of successful marketing drivers furthers the standards for the entire industry.”

As CMO, Della Penna will direct the company’s strategic marketing, branding, and communications efforts, while leading a marketing services division that includes the list services group.

Answerthink is getting rid of the interactive marketing business it acquired from Think New Ideas in 1999, citing a loss on the investment and grim prospects for future growth.

“We are taking all the necessary steps to strongly position the company and improve our profitability as we head into 2003,” said Ted Fernandez, chairman and CEO of Answerthink. “We felt that is was important to focus our organization and re-size our infrastructure to the service areas that provide strong opportunity for long-term growth.”

As a result of the divestiture, the company expects to record charges for restructuring, severance and lease exit costs totalling 12.5 to 15.5 million, the majority of which is related to exiting its New York office, which was used primarily by the interactive marketing business.

CityXpress, a supplier of event auctions and online special sections to newspapers, has signed agreements to launch three newspaper auctions in 2003. Using the CityXpress Xpress Auctions platform, The Courier of Waterloo, Iowa and The Record of Hackensack, N.J. will host their first auction events in the first quarter and The Leader-Telegram of Eau Claire, Wisc. will host its second auction event in the second quarter.

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

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