Evan Harrison , former exec VP-digital president at Clear Channel, has joined outdoor ad company Van Wagner Communications in the newly created post of chief creative officer.
In his new role Mr. Harrison will be charged with helping Van Wagner develop creative marketing approaches across its various billboard, aerial advertising and sports businesses. He will also spearhead partnerships and new-business development for the company. "I see tremendous innovative marketing opportunities ahead, marrying our out-of -home assets with interactivity, and Van Wagner being privately owned is nimble enough to lead the pack," Mr. Harrison told Ad Age in an e-mail.
Mr. Harrison comes to the outdoor industry during a transitional time, as advertisers, agencies and media sellers enter their third year of trying to adopt the Traffic Audit Bureau's Eyes On metrics system. Ad spending has also started to rebound after several years of recession-related cutbacks, with overall spending up 4.1% year-over-year in 2010 and 4.2% in first quarter 2011, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
During his six-plus years at Clear Channel, Mr. Harrison oversaw the company's transition into streaming radio and mobile apps, introducing the popular IHeartadio app to more than 25 million downloads. He also played a leading role in other content initiatives such as "If I Can Dream," a music-themed web series created in partnership with 19 Entertainment, Hulu and MySpace. He was named No. 4 on Ad Age 's Entertainment A-List in 2010.
Prior to joining Clear Channel in November 2004, Mr. Harrison was VP-general of manager of AOL Music, where he oversaw programs like "Sessions" and "First Listen." He began his career at BMG, where he founded the company's first digital marketing department.