Don't look for an interactive division at Suissa/Miller's offices near the beach in Santa Monica, Calif. There isn't one.
Instead, the agency wants alliances with new-media technology companies to turn it into what might be called a virtual interactive agency.
Following the same cooperative strategy in interactive that it uses in media-contracting with Western International Media to buy for clients Jenny Craig International, Schlage Lock Co. and Micrografx-the agency is working on "strategic alliances" with two technology companies that agency President Bruce Miller wouldn't name.
"We think given where the market's go-ing to be and what our clients are going to need, that our involvement is at a more-than-appropriate depth right now," Mr. Miller said recently. "We have a very practical problem like most agencies, that clients are worried about building sales tomorrow, not about a hypothetical technology that might be in place seven marketing directors after our client today."
Mr. Miller said the agency is happy to let what he called "intergalactic agencies" pave the way in technology and education, leaving Suissa/Miller to jump in when there is a viable market. From Mr. Miller's standpoint, clients should get into new media only when it can provide a return, not simply because it's a hot topic in ad circles.
"We aren't going to build an interactive network for any client," Mr. Miller says, adding, "That's the reason God invented AT&T.
"But we are getting into the position that if and when that [interactive] highway gets built, we're going to have the best damn automobile to run on it."