- Time Inc.'s Harpoon Digital agency is adding four new regional positions following a period of strong growth, according to a joint news release. Harpoon Digital is part of Time's MNI Targeted Media Inc. arm.
- The new regional positions will be filled by: Alex Tanev, who will handle Northeast operations; Brendan Kennedy in the Southeast; Steve Weiss in the Northwest and Caitlin Saxton in the Southwest. Their roles will provide regional account management and support and they will report to Dean McClearn, director of account management at Harpoon Digital.
- After a strong first year, Harpoon Digital aims to provide more comprehensive digital strategy, from planning and buying to real-time campaign execution and meticulous reporting, the release said.
The success of Time's Harpoon points to the blurring line between publishers and traditional advertising agencies. More publishers are establishing in-house shops that handle marketing operations, with Time's Harpoon or something like Vice Media's digital agency Carrot serving as standout examples.
Publishing and media companies are interested in building and maintaining in-house agencies to handle advertising products and establish more control over revenue. Marketers, for their part, are interested in formats like native advertising, which publishing houses might have more editorial expertise in. By working directly with publishers, brands can streamline campaigns and potentially reduce costs.
The press release didn't point to any specifics for Harpoon's success but cited "growing demand" for its services as the motivator behind the expansion. The agency launched last March with a focus on cross-platform digital solutions.
Parent company Time Inc. recently backed away from plans to sell itself. It is likely seeking new business opportunities outside of its usual stable of editorial content, and might be investing more in marketing operations as a driver for growth.