The move marks a significant expansion into the midwest for Digitaria, the San Diego-based digital and technology firm that JWT acquired in August 2010.
David Eastman, CEO, JWT North America and worldwide digital director, told Ad Age the move gave the office an opportunity to be part of a larger digital network while providing Digitaria access to health-care expertise.
He added that the move was meant to help expand the office. JWT Minneapolis "needs to get into a growth phase, and Digitaria proved to be extremely capable at growth....It felt like there was no downside," Mr. Eastman said.
"With this step, Digitaria immediately gains a key client in the health-care category," said Digitaria CEO Daniel Khabie in a statement. "By making the Minneapolis office part of the Digitaria family, we'll be able to better capitalize upon our digital expertise and assets to broaden the office's client base, while maintaining international reach through our connection to JWT and its global network."
It's just the latest of one of many restructuring moves that the Minneapolis outpost has seen. JWT's Minneapolis sprouted forth when the network in 2009 absorbed RMG -- a CRM and direct-marketing agency it had acquired. In 2001, JWT had acquired a digital agency called Imaginet, which was absorbed into RMG in Minneapolis.
With the establishment of Digitaria Minneapolis comes a senior management change. The office will be run day-to-day by Joyce Zincke, VP-operations at JWT's Minneapolis outpost; previously at the helm was Lydell Capritta, who left the agency in light of the rebrand. Ms. Zincke will be reporting to Doug Hecht, Digitaria's president and chief operating officer.
The rebranded Minneapolis office, which has about 60 employees, will become Digitaria's second-biggest office after its San Diego headquarters. It also has a presence in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.
JWT and Digitaria's shared clients include Qualcomm, Rolex and Royal Caribbean.