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After a fruitful 1998, in which it picked up $1 billion in new billings, Young & Rubicam's Media Edge looks to bolster one of its nerve centers this week: the research department.

Media Edge is adding two media and consumer purchasing gurus as senior VPs-Cynthia Evans, 46, comes from Scarborough Research, and Lyle Schwartz, 40, joins the company after a stint at A&E Television Network.

Ms. Evans will handle print and out-of-home media, as well as help develop a retail specialty. Mr. Schwartz will cover all broadcast research as well as handle several primary accounts including, Clorox Co., the U.S. Army and Mattel.


For Mr. Schwartz, the new post is a return to the family; before joining A&E in 1997, he served as senior VP-account planning and strategic media research at Y&R Media before the parent acquired Media Edge from N.W. Ayer & Partners.

"We're relying on [their] business skills in both areas to really give us added insight to what's driving the whole equation," said Joe Abruzzo, Media Edge exec VP-director of marketing and media research.

As research becomes more complicated but also more critical to the advertising industry, the dated notion of back room number-crunchers is giving way to a new breed such as Ms. Evans and Mr. Schwartz.

"We want to take the tools out of the back room and put them on the client's desk," Mr. Schwartz said.

Mr. Abruzzo said that as part of a management reorganization, Media Edge realized it needed more senior people in the research department. He wanted people who could work with clients, not just integrate data analysis.


Each of the two new hires will have plenty of client contact, he said, with research playing a role in all new-business pitches.

He anticipates adding even more staff to accommodate clients, given the recent win of Campbell Soup Co.'s $200 million in media buying.

Mr. Abruzzo said it is premature to discuss details, but added Media Edge will use Ms. Evans' extensive local-market experience to help extend the company's

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