GREY ADVERTISING

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Grey Advertising is one agency giant that hasn't trumpeted its every early interactive move, but portends to be a formidable force in the burgeoning arena.

It formed Grey Interactive, a multidisciplinary task force, in late 1992 and in recent months took a giant step forward in forming a strategic alliance with Mosaic Communications, Mountain View, Calif. The agency will help the start-up company, formed by former Silicon Graphics Chairman Jim Clark, develop interactive advertising for the Internet.

Aligning with unconventional third parties like Mosaic is what Exec VP-Director of Media Alec Gerster said is one of the main challenges in agency interactive forays.

"Third parties working in this area hadn't been part of the agency landscape in the past," he said. "There's more to this than Time Warner in Orlando."

Even so, Grey is working with Procter & Gamble to design a Cover Girl cosmetics area for Time Warner's Full Service Network.

Grey has coordinated a number of multimedia interactive sales presentations, with one winning an award for The Wall Street Journal; its subsidiary, Visual Communications Group, New York, has produced interactive programs for several clients, including IBM Corp., on a project basis.

The agency's task force is co-chaired by Mr. Gerster and George Wiedemann, ceo of Grey Direct. Agency Chairman-CEO Ed Meyer, New York President Bob Berenson and Steve Novick, exec VP-creative services, are involved in its developments as well.

Mr. Berenson said the deep-pocketed but discriminating company is not looking at acquiring any outside companies for talent or expertise to bolster its interactive efforts.

"This may be a business less of acquisition and more of development," he said.

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