Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt is a relative newcomer to the new-media front, but is wasting no time leading clients into the interactive age.
An informal unit, BJK&E Interactive Group, was formed last spring by Michael Drexler, president of BJK&E Media Group, New York, and includes four executives who are scouting projects for the agency holding company's Bozell Worldwide, Poppe Tyson and Dallas-based Temerlin McClain units.
"We're working on a number of interactive projects that take us into a lot of platforms," said Jean-Claude Kaufmann, director of broadcast production and one member of the interactive group.
He acknowledges that the agency as yet has none of them in the marketplace, but says he's helping to develop CD-ROM and CD-I products, applications for commercial online services and is involved with two clients in Time Warner's Full Service Network test, one of which is known to be Chrysler Corp. Chrysler also advertises with Interactive Network.
"Our interest has really been to find out [about tests] and get selected clients involved in certain ways as it suits them for interactive projects, without making a big deal about it," Mr. Kaufmann said. "We're more interested in doing it than issuing press releases," he said. This despite the presence of Mr. Drexler, who's never been known to shun publicity.
Bozell has said it plans to eventually offer the services of its interactive group to non-clients and agencies that don't have similar resources and capabilities.
Temerlin McClain, an independent shop under the BJK&E umbrella, doesn't rely on one interactive media task force. Instead, each client group is charged with exploring and developing interactive opportunities.
"We tend to have a client base who are just prime prospects for interactive media," said Hugh O'Brien, Temerlin's executive director-marketing services. "They are service-driven businesses, and interactivity makes a great deal of sense for them."
So far, the agency is working on interactive projects with clients American Airlines, J.C. Penney Co., Terminix and Subaru of America.
American is sponsoring a half-hour travel trivia quiz on the Interactive Network and Terminix is advertising online on Prodigy.