AWE Names New Honchos

Walton hires music vets to replace him

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%%STORYIMAGE_LEFT%% Aaron Walton is relinquishing the day-to-day management responsibilities of his eponymous music-oriented entertainment-marketing firm at Omnicom Group, Aaron Walton Entertainment. Walton is replacing himself with two music industry executives, Marcus Peterzell and Bobby Oppenheim, who will become co-presidents with immediate effect.

The move follows Walton's recent appointment as president of Radiate Entertainment, a division of Omnicom's Radiate Group. Walton's mandate from Radiate Group President Steve Groth includes building a branded TV programming capability as well as looking at possible acquisitions.

Oppenheim and Peterzell come from New York-based MusicVision, which touts itself as an integrated marketing firm specializing in online music solutions. Peterzell and Oppenheim were, respectively, senior VP-sales and marketing, and senior VP-business development. MusicVision said it is restructuring in the wake of their departures.

Oppenheim said, "We really want to elevate the company into a real entertainment strategy provider as opposed to a transaction company which licenses or buys talent." Aaron Walton Entertainment has three offices, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, and employs a staff of ten. The company was founded in 1988 by Walton, who was responsible for connecting pop stars such as Britney Spears to marketers such as Pepsi-Cola Company.

%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% Peterzell, a former president of b-to-b at Hollywood.com and entertainment marketing VP at Web ad sales firm 24/7— not to mention one time manager of eighties band The Cure— said: "What we're going to do is continue along the path of entertainment marketing, celebrity endorsement." The two hope to bring increased expertise in digital marketing in the music space.

Previously, the two helped bring emerging group Brand New together with Nokia to help launch the company's 3300 music phone, which has a built-in MP3 player. The two also helped develop music initiatives for Hyundai and Verizon Wireless.

"They work as a team, Bobby is more on the business side while Marcus is more about account management and they'll be there to generate new business," said Walton.

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