Razorfish Takes Stake in Avalanche Systems

Digital agencies Razorfish and Avalanche Systems said they have
formed a new partnership, and Razorfish, part of Omnicom’s Communicade
has taken a substantial stake in Avalanche.

“We intend to field the best team in the business,” said Jeff Dachis, CEO of
Razorfish. “Together we will harness our collective strategy, design, and
technology expertise to continue to deliver the highest caliber of service to
our clients, all the way from concept development through execution.”

Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

Under the new partnership, Peter Seidler will continue to lead Avalanche as
chief creative officer. Dachis will assume the additional position of chief
executive officer of Avalanche. Troy Tyler, formerly the director of
operations at Avalanche, has been named executive vice president and chief
operating officer. Michael Block, formerly Avalanche’s chief executive
officer, is leaving the company.

Said the New York Times of the move:
“The deal comes as Madison Avenue’s initial rosy view of the prospects for
online advertising gives way to a more realistic perspective of the field as
competitive and costly.”

Avalanche is a creator of interactive marketing, communications, and business
solutions that combine strategy, design and information technology. Clients
include KPMG, Carnegie Hall, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Guardian,
and the
Warner Music Group.

Razorfish is a digital communications firm known for its branding and
dynamically generated publishing systems. Razorfish clients include CBS, IBM,
Charles Schwab & Co., America Online, Time Warner, and Sony.

Separately, CBS New Media, the CBS Corp. division that is launching the CBS Network on the Web, announced
a partnership with Razorfish to design and produce the interface for CBS.com
and CBSnow, its affiliate template system. Financials were not disclosed.

The interface for CBSnow is a template-based system that allows affiliates to
produce branded content from a variety of editorial perspectives. Through a
co-branded, online presence, viewers of local affiliate content will gain
access to the national content of CBS News, CBS MarketWatch, and CBS

One hundred and fifty-five CBS affiliates nationwide are ready to launch
with their own URLs using the CBSnow interface on February 1.

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