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WPP OPENS SEARCH ENGINE AD SPECIALTY UNIT

Latest Sign of Growing Impact and Importance of Search Marketing

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a move that further underscores the growing importance of search-engine advertising to major agencies, WWP Group's mOne Worldwide has started mSearch North America, a search-engine marketing unit.
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Stuart Bogaty was named CEO of mSearch, according to mOne. He had been senior partner and managing director of mOne, New York.

Dedicated operation
A digital and direct media network, mOne Worldwide had been providing search services, but this move establishes a tightly focused group of employees formally dedicated to the specializes area of interactive marketing.

There are about 25 clients across Ogilvy & Mather, of which mOne is a unit, who are receiving search services, Mr. Bogaty said. They span all consumer sectors, from packaged goods to high-tech to travel.

During the recent holiday shopping season, search-engine advertising gained much traction because of the results it produced for marketers as well as the revenues it poured into major Internet search portals.

Overall online ad spending grew 31% in 2004 to $9.5 billion, according to a report on search engine marketing by online market research firm eMarketer. Paid search-engine advertising was 40.5% of that outlay.

Managing keywords and price-bidding
But managing the thousands of keywords and daily price-bidding that an effective search-marketing program requires is a full-time job, Mr. Bogaty said. "To do it right you need someone with dedicated expertise and it's really important that it be integrated with your other online efforts," he said.

The five employees of the new unit in New York report to Alan Boughen, director of mSearch search operations.

At least a couple of other positions have yet to be filled. Mike Chowney is the new head of mSearch international operations, which is based in London.

Although search engines charge on a cost-per-click basis, the agency charges clients on a staff-plan-based commission plan or as a percentage of their media spending.

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