Media Mavens 2010

Media Mavens: John Moore, Mullen

While Others Lament the Difficulty of Keeping up With Changing Media, Exec Wishes He Could Speed Things Up

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- "When we think about marketing, we still think in terms of what's the TV idea, what's the radio idea, what's the social idea," said John Moore, who serves as chief media officer at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Mullen. "We would never admit that in public, because we know that's not how the public wants us to think or how clients want us to think. But I don't think that we're at the place where we're smashing them together, the 'blenderization' of marketing."

He jokes: "The nice thing about our business is -- unlike doctors or lawyers -- we get to make up vocabulary."

John Moore
John Moore Credit: Bethany Acheson

After working at Mullen's Boston-based headquarters for a dozen years and in media roles at New England-area shops for nearly 20, Mr. Moore in September 2009 was tapped to helm Mediahub, Mullen's full-service media-planning and -buying group. At the time of Mr. Moore's appointment, Mullen President-CEO Joe Grimaldi said: "John is a vocal champion for progressive, digital and social media, and he's a huge catalyst for media-creative fusion."

Since taking the helm of Mediahub, Mr. Moore helped Mullen reel in a media agency-of-record assignment for JetBlue in May; set up a dedicated mobile division; and launched Nexus, a proprietary media-insights tool designed to help clients figure out the right combination of media channels and what consumers want from brands in each of these channels.

"He's been around the industry a long time, but he still comes to things like a fascinated newcomer," said Marty St. George, senior VP-marketing and commercial at JetBlue Airways. The guy is an absolute sponge as far as his passion for media. For us, he does such a great job ... and he's really stretched us as far as some ideas we're considering [for a new JetBlue ad campaign] right now."

Over the years, Mr. Moore has put his stamp on a range of national and international brands, including Wendy's , General Motors, Whirlpool, Lending Tree, H&R Block, L.L. Bean, Monster and XM Satellite Radio, among others. The ability to integrate hyper-targeted media plans with innovative creative ideas is something that comes easily to Mr. Moore, he said, because of the early part of his career working at tiny, independent agencies where everything was handled under a single roof -- there was no such thing as unbundling.

"I fell into this career by accident and learned very early that I just love this business," said Mr. Moore, a Philadelphia native who got his start in advertising in the mid-1980s. "More than anything, the pace was so fast and so unpredictable that it serendipitously meshed with my Type A and [attention deficit disorder] personality."

Added Mr. St. George: "He's just as much of a creative guy as a media guy, as far as I'm concerned. Most media people are subject-matter experts with media, but when it gets to other worlds, like talking about [communications] planning, creative, they can't do that. John's not like that; he's not just in the media silo."

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