UNIVERSAL MCCANN COMBINES DIGITAL OPERATIONS

UM Interactive’s David Cohen Will Oversee Media-Buying Unit

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Universal McCann has combined its digital media operations into one unit that will be led in the U.S. by David Cohen.
David Cohen

Mr. Cohen, now promoted to exec VP-U.S. director of digital communications, was previously senior VP of UM Interactive in New York. In a parallel move in London, Damian Blackden, co-CEO of the office there, is moving to a similar post for the Europe-Middle East-Africa region.

"We've been doing fantastic work on the ground in many markets, but we have to organize ourselves to share best practices and cascade learning," Mr. Cohen said, adding that appointments in South America and Asia Pacific are forthcoming. "We'll have a more formalized global structure."

Following consumers to digital
The move comes as media agencies are honing their digital offerings, a trend driven by the increasing popularity of interactive TV, video on demand, and video games with consumers. Recently, the Interpublic Group of Cos., UM's parent, created a consumer experience unit to be led by Initiative media guru Stacey Lynn Koerner. Similarly, Publicis Groupe formed Denuo, a consultancy and research group led by Rishad Tobaccowala.

"It's no longer someone's side job," Mr. Cohen said. "It is our job to look at digital media in all its permutations."

Mr. Cohen said the move won't affect the upfront ad-sales negotiation process for UM. "The question there is: How do we strategically align ourselves to react and be proactive with AOL, ESPN, NBC and so forth for what we want on behalf of our clients? Those conversations are happening right now."

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