Mediaedge:cia merges 3 units to form MEC Interaction in North America

MUMBAI: One of WPP's media franchises Mediaedge:cia is merging three of its leading interactive and direct marketing specialist agencies to form one unit -- MEC Interaction. The announcement was made by Mediaedge:cia executive chairman Charles Courtier late last week.

The agency's direct response media planning and buying arm Wunderman Media, online media planning and buying arm The Digital Edge and its search marketing unit Outrider have been merged to form MEC Interaction.



Mediaedge:cia UK chairman and Outrider Worldwide CEO Rob Norman has been named CEO Worldwide for MEC Interaction.

This development will however not have any immediate implications or reflection in India for the time being, Mediaedge:cia India managing director Shubha George informs



"We have merged three expert businesses to create a specialist unit focused on increasing the productivity of media communications. We have created a single account management structure, unifying the tools and processes," said Courtier.



Elaborating on the reason behind this move, Courtier said, "Many of our clients need to generate new leads or to generate a direct consumer action that results in deeper engagement or a movement closer to a purchase. They do not live in an on or offline world, they live in a multi channel world that creates actions from every source. They want to make their communications as productive as possible by being able to plan, buy and analyse across all response channels."

The management team of MEC Interaction will be as follows:

Alan Schanzer will oversee MEC Interaction North America as managing partner

Sarah Hammel will be senior partner and finance director for MEC Interaction

Chris Copeland will be overseeing Search Engine marketing for MEC Interaction as managing partner, Practice Lead

Jeanne Burkle, Maureen McKillop and Jean Scanlon as senior partner, Practice Leads, will manage MEC Interaction's offline direct marketing specialists

Carrie Frolich and Todd Fraipont as senior partners, Practice Leads for online areas. Frolich will manage MEC Interaction's online specialists in New York, Chicago and Detroit, whereas Fraipont will handle the online specialty in MEC's offices in Irvine and Los Angeles, CA.

Greg Rogers as partner, director of insights and analytics, will lead development of combined analytics between all of MEC Interaction's specialty functions.

Matt Straznitskas as senior partner, director of business development, will manage all business growth and new business opportunities for MEC Interaction.

Alice Minetti as senior partner, director of DRTV buying, will continue to oversee all DRTV buying for MEC Interaction

Dwelling on the reason behind forming MEC Interaction, Courtier said, "Interaction describes exactly what we hope the consumer will do; calling an 800 number, a click on a search link, a visit to a web site, sending us a real mail or an e mail. Interaction creates data streams from those we can measure, compare and optimise. In the same way Navigator helps us define connection points we will also define interaction points like when and how will interaction help us achieve our communications goals."

MEC Interaction will represent the total capability of all three brands -- Wunderman Media, The Digital Edge and Outrider. "We will continue to operate Outrider as a global search specialist and the Wunderman Media brand will be retained, with the full capability of MEC Interaction to maintain our long standing relationship with Wunderman and our shared clients. This unification of expertise enforces our promise to deliver channel neutral planning across all response channels supported by unified consumer insight and analytics," Courtier said.

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