i.20: Ogilvy Interactive's Jeannette McClennan

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Jeannette McClennan isn't awed by the Internet . . . yet. That's because she thinks its true potential hasn't yet been borne out. "With respect to the quality of the user experience on the Internet, we have a long way to go when you look at the product we have put out for the consumer," Ms. McClennan says.

It's not exactly the perspective one would expect from an industry executive last month hired to head Oglivy Interactive, North America, the interactive component of OgilvyOne Worldwide, which is itself the direct marketing arm of Ogilvy & Mather, New York. But Ms. McClennan believes it's that very perspective that pushes her to seek better solutions for online advertising and commerce. "Technology is all about inventing new kinds of products and services that will sustain relationships in the virtual world," she says.


Committed to taking Ogilvy Interactive to the next level, Ms. McClennan is interested in developing new applications for wireless, hand-held devices, among other hardware platforms.

Ms. McClennan joined Ogilvy last month from Organic, San Francisco, where she was VP-managing director of the interactive agency's New York office and oversaw its public relations arm, Organic Communications. At Organic, Ms. McClennan represented the agency's East Coast business, heading new business, consulting, engineering and technology teams. Now at Ogilvy, Ms. McClennan has the opportunity to oversee "all of North America rather than just one office."


Ms. McClennan was a founding member of Prodigy Services Co., White Plains, N.Y., and worked at the company when it was called Tritex. Ms. McClennan was there in Prodigy's heyday--"when it was the largest proprietary online service," she says, and left before it nosedived. "I was able to take away so much learning about the business. How [Prodigy] fumbled and what happened after I left I really can't comment on."

Ms. McClennan says 18 years in and around interactive media has given her a unique perspective on the state of the industry. "What I find extremely interesting about the interactive world is that most people think it's moving so fast. But to veterans like myself, it's moving very slowly."

Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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