Engine Group Taps Lisa Weinstein to Build New Media Distribution Offering

Company Said It Is Adding 'Crucial Component' To Content Creation and Consumer Intelligence

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Lisa Weinstein
Lisa Weinstein Credit: c/o Engine Group

Engine Group is building a media buying and planning offering from the ground up, beginning with new hire Lisa Weinstein.

Ms. Weinstein most recently served as president of global digital, data & analytics at Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group. She also held various roles over more than a decade within WPP's GroupM media agency network.

From her hometown of Chicago, she'll report into Terry Graunke, Engine Group executive and chairman and principal and co-founder of Lake Capital, a private-equity firm that in 2014 acquired U.K.-based Engine Group.

"Engine Group has a long heritage of helping brands succeed through content creation and consumer intelligence," said Mr. Graunke in a statement. "We are now adding the crucial component of digital distribution to better navigate the rapidly changing marketplace."

Ms. Weinstein will be responsible for building and leading the network's global media services operation. She'll ultimately grow and evolve the business through future acquisitions, the company said in the statement.

"There's been such disruption in the media services industry," said Ms. Weinstein. "If you think about the roles I've had over the last five years, it was about reinventing through partnerships and creating new capabilities and acquisitions. I've always been part of the establishment. I saw for the future of my career the opportunity not just to reinvent the establishment but to invent with a business that can be nimble and built for the challenges of modern media."

Over the last couple of years, clients have been asking Engine shops not only to create videos and other social content, but also to distribute the content, she said. "Unless you're in a position to deliver content, you're not necessarily capturing that data with the ability to affect and optimize the outcome," she added.

The other opportunity is in "putting together an integrated win," she said. "[Clients] come with a brief for everyone that includes content creation and strategy, distribution, user experience, web development, a CRM data capture and measurement. It's different than just a media planning and buying brief or just creative. It's a great mix of really integrated requirements."

Engine, a mid-sized agency network started in the U.K., now owns content and entertainment marketing agency Trailer Park, sports marketing agency Synergy and social and digital creative shop Deep Focus and its various offerings, including content group Moment Studio. The agency network touts around 2,000 employees across the U.S., U.K. and Asia.

The move to make a formal push into media buying is in line with Deep Focus' move in August to introduce a branded entertainment group called DFx. At the time, the agency inked arrangements with 11 media companies, including Tastemade, Popsugar and NowThis, to create, produce and help distribute branded content that could be anything from a reality TV series to a branded video clip. The goal, said Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer at the time, was to co-create with the media properties.

Following the acquisition by Lake, which created a new U.S.-headquartered network of agencies under the Engine name, the Engine network also has identified synergies among its existing agency holdings. New York-based Deep Focus absorbed Noise in 2014, and has since taken advantage of sibling agency Trailer Park's presence on the west coast as part of a U.S. expansion.

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