Yahoo! recruits first agency ambassador

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In yet another marriage of old and new media, Murray Gaylord, a veteran ad executive and former exec VP-chief operating officer of the Advertising Council, has joined Internet poster child Yahoo! as director of Fusion Marketing.

No stranger to the tenets of effective advertising, Mr. Gaylord, 58, spearheaded the Ad Council's dialogue with the industry, working with agencies, advertisers and media to develop public service campaigns. Under his watch, the non-profit organization became a major Web advertiser as sites donated space for online PSAs.

Prior to the Ad Council, Mr. Gaylord held executive posts at New York agencies TBWA Advertising (now TBWA/Chiat/Day); Scali, McCabe, Sloves (now part of Lowe Lintas & Partners); and Y&R Advertising.


He began his career at Y&R in 1974, when many current dot-com CEOs were eating pureed peas -- or practicing long division.

With his move to Yahoo! last month to head the unit that offers ad packages for clients that tap all of Yahoo!'s properties, he leads the effort to encourage traditional ad agencies to develop multifaceted online campaigns for their clients.

"The goal is to get traditional agencies to understand what [the Internet's] all about," said Mr. Gaylord, who reports to Karen Edwards, VP-global marketing.

Yahoo!, which had a profit of $61.1 million on $588.7 million in revenue during 1999, wants to hit $1 billion in revenue this year, he said.

"Yahoo!'s making money, which appealed to me," Mr. Gaylord said.

The company historically has gone directly to advertisers for big projects.

For instance, Yahoo! partnered with Procter & Gamble Co. last July for integrated promotions for P&G brands including Pampers, Pringles and Pepto-Bismol. Because creative was so closely integrated into Yahoo! chats, customized games and events, Yahoo! created the majority in-house.


However, to achieve its goal of creating more integrated marketing opportunities for advertisers, Yahoo! decided to pursue a seasoned ad executive to talk with ad agencies, "someone who would know what it's like to be in their shoes and to be learning more about online advertising," Ms. Edwards said. "We brought him on to be someone who could be a really good listener and who could help many of his contacts and colleagues get up to speed with what Yahoo!'s up to and what the Internet has to offer.

"He will also represent us in our industry efforts," she said. "Yahoo! hasn't been very involved in the past in many associations, and we are going to be playing more of a leadership role in helping to shape some of the issues of our industry."

Ed Ney, chairman emeritus at Young & Rubicam, New York, said he thinks more Internet companies will seek the expertise of Madison Avenue executives such as Mr. Gaylord.

"I think Murray is a great ambassador from one world to another, and back and forth," Mr. Ney said.

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