Ammirati expands interactive group

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Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is hammering out a plan to add as many as a dozen new staffers to the agency's interactive department and reposition the unit within the agency.

"We're really expanding not only the size, but also the resources and capabilities of our interactive group," said Ammirati's North American President, Duncan Pollock. He said the agency is in the "early stages" of deciding how to "expand and grow the group."

Ammirati's interactive group, which now has 22 staffers and services clients including Compaq Computer Corp. and United Parcel Service, is managed under the agency's direct unit. Other agencies, such as Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, also manage interactive from within their direct groups.

In one of its first major moves, the agency has hired Lynn Bolger as senior VP-digital media director, a new post overseeing an expanded Internet media department. Ms. Bolger spent the past 10 months at Web rep firm Softbank Interactive Marketing, where she was director of market research and planning.

"I felt like I was falling a teeny bit behind the curve" at SIM, Ms. Bolger said. "My goal is to stay out there on the edge of new opportunities, new media, new marketing applications."

The agency also will soon add Mark Avnet as senior VP-technical services director, from executive producer at Hearst New Media. His role will be to "interface between the technology and business needs," said Mr. Pollock.

Brian Cauley, exec VP-managing director at Ammirati's interactive department, claims his agency buys more page views on the Web than any other traditional agency. That's no doubt due to the magnitude of a deal the agency inked earlier this year for UPS, which gave the package shipping company high-traffic real estate on the front pages of Infoseek, Lycos and Yahoo.

Contributing: Debra Aho Williamson, Laura Petrecca.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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