Magazine article ADWEEK

A Change in Media Tactics from Universal McCann: Agency's New Hire Shows Stronger Commitment to Media-Owner Ties

Magazine article ADWEEK

A Change in Media Tactics from Universal McCann: Agency's New Hire Shows Stronger Commitment to Media-Owner Ties

Article excerpt

NEW YORK In the latest sign that Matt Seiler, global CEO of Universal McCann, is redefining the relationship the agency forges with media owners, he has hired Jacki Kelley--whose career spans two decades on the sales and marketing side of the media business--as the shop's North America president.

Seiler said he had talked with several candidates at media shops and other agencies about the newly created post, but earlier this year had an "aha" moment when "I realized I'd been looking in the wrong places" for an executive he hoped would transform UM's dealings with sellers. He then added media sellers to his list of candidates.

Throughout the industry, said Seiler, buyer-seller relationships lack depth and focus too much on the final transaction. Instead, he believes the ties have to be forged "early in the planning process to create strategic connections to what the client's business objectives are and using the total resources of the media owners to achieve that."

The hire is the latest move Seiler has taken to reshape the Interpublic Group agency, which he joined eight months ago. And there's more to come: in the following weeks, UM will appoint a handful of North American executives who will serve as liaisons to specific media companies with a mandate to forge deeper, more meaningful ties.

Kelley spent 18 years in various functions at Gannett's USA Today, including circulation and advertising posts at both domestic and international operations before joining Yahoo in 2006 as svp, advertising, just as digital devices and services were gaining critical mass with consumers. …

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