Multipurpose marketing unit will be based in Playa del Rey Alice Z. Cuneo TBWA Worldwide's Bob Kuperman will spend more time on the West Coast again as he spearheads development of a new viral marketing/promotions unit.
Mr. Kuperman, TBWA president-CEO of the Americas, moved from the West Coast to New York two years ago. He said he will not return full time to the Los Angeles area, but, "As the New York office has more and more success, I will be able to split my time a little more evenly between New York and Los Angeles."
BEYOND MAINSTREAM ADS
The new unit will be housed at TBWA/Chiat/Day's Playa del Rey, Calif., office. It will involve "experience marketing and creating venues to expand client brands" beyond TV commercials and print ads, Mr. Kuperman said. He said it is too early to discuss a name or many details beyond that, although he said one possibility is that the unit would create programming.
"We have the ability to entertain through our advertising and to find other ways to take a client's brand and have it interact with the consumer," said Mr. Kuperman.
TBWA/Chiat/Day is known for the creation of such cultural icons as the Energizer Bunny and Taco Bell Chihuahua.
Mr. Kuperman's shift is in part a result of the growth and stability of the New York office under a new management team.
The office has added a reported $342 million in billings since August, landing the accounts of marketers such as Circuit City Stores and the SciFi Channel. It has also picked up a slew of dot-com clients, including Web Street, eYada.com, Kozmo.com, MuseumNetwork.com and an online travel service formed by an alliance of major airlines.
The New York office is led by President-CEO Carl Johnson and Chief Creative Officer David Page.
Some executives said they believe Mr. Kuperman's return will also lend spark to the Playa del Rey office, which has seen the departure in recent months of several high-profile creatives.
Mr. Kuperman denied that. "What would my return have to do with the creative product?" he asked, noting that the office is home to some of the "all-time great creative directors," led by Lee Clow, worldwide chairman-chief creative officer.
In a separate move, TBWA/Chiat/Day is expected to promote Monica Karo, corporate media director, to a worldwide media role.
Contributing: Richard Linnett.
Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.