Execs and Accounts for June 13, 2003

Absolut next week unveils a collaboration with Net artists Richard Wentworth and Semiconductor to break into the world of Internet art. This work, dubbed Absolut Next Generations, will also enlist contributions from visitors to its Web site by leveraging new interactive design tools. For the first time in the company’s history, consumers will be allowed to contribute to an Absolut art campaign, bringing them closer to the creative process, the vodka maker said.

The branded project is being organized in conjunction with the debut of the the Venice Biennial and will be featured at that exhibition, which opens to the public on June 15. The event will commemorate 20 years of the brand’s collaborations with the art world.

Several ad serving and management companies have announced new offices and clients in recent days: Falk eSolutions AG, a provider of ad delivery and management solutions in Europe since 1998, has established its U.S. headquarters in New York. Falk North America launches with a roster of publishers that includes A&E Television Networks, which owns Biography.com, HistoryChannel.com and A&E’s flagship, AETV.com.

The U.S. operation is headed by industry veteran Joe Apprendi, hired as president of Falk North America. Apprendi was formerly executive vice president of rich media technology firm Eyeblaster, where he led global sales and marketing the past two years. Prior to Eyeblaster, Apprendi was SVP of North American sales for 24/7 Media.

Forbes.com has picked ValueClick subsidiary Mediaplex’s MOJO Publisher ad management solution for its ad serving, management and analysis needs. Said Michael Smith, chief technology officer at Forbes.com, “We were impressed with MOJO Publisher’s ability to provide a customizable solution and near real-time ad inventory management.”

Additionally, 24/7 Real Media has signed a multi-year agreement to manage ad serving and provide Web analytics for LifetimeTV.com. The new client will use Open AdStream Central as its exclusive ad serving solution and Open Insight as its exclusive Web analytics tool.

The WorldNow Network of local television news stations has chosen online ad seller Interep Interactive to represent its Web site ad inventory. WorldNow’s network of 144 local TV news Web sites reaches approximately 10 million visitors each month, the company said, representing an opportunity to reach loyal news-hungry viewers across the U.S. with geographically targeted messages.

“Having developed a number of cross media programs in partnership with our sister Interep radio rep firm, we are confident we can bring real value to the conceptualization and execution of programs for WorldNow local television audience,” says Adam Guild, president of Interep Interactive.

Verizon Wireless has launched its Spanish-language Web site, allowing the research and purchase of wireless phones and service plans.

“Our goal is for all customers to feel comfortable about doing business with us, so its important to make this investment to meet their online needs,” said Nicholas Montes, director of multicultural marketing for Verizon Wireless.

Full-service ad agency Planet Central has named Richard Ullman to the new position of managing director in its New York office. Ullman joins Planet Central from Moelo & Company, a consultancy for digital brands and technology companies.

He was also SVP and director of marketing for Renegade Marketing Group in New York, where he led a noted campaign that re-branded The Mining Company to About.com using the tagline, “Hello, is anybody out there?”. He also worked with top consumer brands, including MCI, Volvo, International Paper and Philips.

Speaking of Renegade Marketing Group, Fanny Krivoy has joined that firm as online creative director. She joins from the New York office of strategic digital services firm Organic, where she led the design team on the Armani Exchange, Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger, Tribeca Film Festival, Save the Children, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting and Zagat.com accounts. Krivoy spent five years at Organic, before which she managed her own design studio in Venezuela.

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

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