HEAD OF YAHOO!'S NEW AD AGENCY RESIGNS

Alda Abbracciamento Replaces Soho Square's Elizabeth Talerman

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group's Soho Square, which counts Yahoo! as its only client, has lost its founder and managing partner, Elizabeth Talerman, the marketer said Oct. 31.
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Ms. Talerman unexpectedly resigned sometime last month. Ms. Talerman, who is said to be planning to start her own agency, according to an executive close to the situation, was not reachable for comment.

Replacement named
WPP and Yahoo! have already selected Alda Abbracciamento to replace Ms. Talerman, said Joanna Stevens, a Yahoo! corporate spokeswoman. Ms. Abbracciamento was a former executive vice president and global business director on the Merrill Lynch account at WPP's J. Walter Thompson, New York. Most recently she headed her own consultancy.

"The good news is the reason we decided to work with Soho Square in the first place was their ability to build a leading cross-disciplinary team, which we believe they have done. We're extremely confident in their ability to continue to develop the plan and the creative," Ms. Stevens said.

A WPP spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

An integration experiment
Soho Square was formed in August as something of an integration experiment to service its inaugural client, Yahoo! The advertising account previously had been with Black Rocket, San Francisco, part of the Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide network. The marketer was told it could pick from among 90 WPP Group's marketing services firms for its needs.

Yahoo! did just that last week, when it moved its media account to WPP's MindShare from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media, which handled media buying. Yahoo! also awarded online media buying to WPP's mOne, joint venture company between direct services agency OgilvyOne and MindShare. Details about Yahoo!'s other WPP partners have been scant, however, though Ms. Talerman had been expected to name certain key creative appointments within the coming weeks.

Second time with WPP
Soho Square marked Ms. Talerman's second tour with WPP. She was a senior partner and account director on IBM Corp. for OgilvyOne and helped integrate that company's marketing services. She also ran her own 15-person digital shop, named Agile Industries, and is chair of the International Andy Awards, run by the Advertising Club of New York.

News of Ms. Talerman's departure comes as Yahoo! wraps up its nine-year relationship with Black Rocket Oct. 31, the same day Initiative's contract expires.

Yahoo! executives
She appeared to have been a no-show at Yahoo!'s second annual creative summit Oct. 30 in New York. Yahoo!'s chief marketing officer, Cammie Dunaway, and chief sales officer, Wenda Millard, were among the company executives at the post-event cocktail party.

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