Zenith Media Shifts Focus to Video

TV Buyer Peggy Green to Lead Platform-Neutral Approach

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Groupe's Zenith Media USA is overhauling its media-buying operations, with a move away from traditional broadcast and cable buys to video buying across different platforms, such as digital and out of home. Peggy Green, the agency's current president of broadcast, will lead the operation.

With several other media agencies already aiming for a platform-neutral approach, Zenith is playing a bit of catch-up with this restructure. Publicis sibling MediaVest in 2006 changed its TV-buying teams to video investment and activation units and Aegis's Carat last year announced the merger of its traditional media-buying and -planning functions with digital.

Not strong-armed by clients
Tim Jones, CEO, Zenith Optimedia North America, said the agency is already doing "dozens" of integrated deals annually for clients, but that he wanted to dedicate Ms. Green to focus on video opportunities exclusively. The new structure was not propelled by any specific client needs, he said, but by the increased multichannel offerings of media companies.

"We are seeing a lot of marketplace change," he said, "Vendors really are adapting their offerings and extending beyond their traditional distribution channels."

He pointed to NBC, which will be selling nine digital out-of-home venues to supplement its traditional offerings, as one example.

Under the new operation, Ava Jordhamo will be promoted to exec VP-director, national broadcast. This will be the second restructuring of Zenith's media-buying operations in two years -- in 2006, the agency moved into a so-called matrix structure, which separate buyers into accounts groups that work in client-facing teams.
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