Online start-up lands Yell account

i-level, the new-media planning and buying specialist launched on Tuesday, has secured Yell, the Yellow Pages web service, as one of its founding clients.

i-level, the new-media planning and buying specialist launched on

Tuesday, has secured Yell, the Yellow Pages web service, as one of its

founding clients.



The agency - which claims to be the largest of its kind in the UK with a

10 per cent market share - also counts Easyjet among its four direct

clients, and has signed deals with two traditional media agencies to

plan and buy on the internet on their clients’ behalf.



i-level is run by Charlie Dobres, the former head of Lowe Digital and

general secretary of the Internet Advertising Bureau; Andrew Walmsley,

who has quit as head of digital media at Bartle Bogle Hegarty; and Craig

Wilkie, one of the co-founders of the Guardian New Media Lab. It claims

a total of pounds 4 million of billings at launch.



The partners would not confirm that Yell was on board, but sources close

to the company indicated that a deal had been signed with the BT-owned

service.



Dobres claimed: ’There hasn’t been a media independent launched with

this market share since Zenith.’



i-level aims to use its volume to buy more cleverly, as well as more

efficiently, than its competitors, according to Walmsley. ’Our volume

will mean we are active in the marketplace all the time, giving us a

broad level of experience and knowledge that cannot be matched by

part-timers.’



The shop will work with traditional agencies to deliver a similar

service to that of poster buying specialists - operating on behalf of

big media operations in a complex and low-margin area.



Dobres, who has resigned from his post at the IAB, takes the chief

executive’s post at i-level, while Walmsley becomes chairman. Wilkie, as

creative director, will supervise teams made up of planner/buyers and

’fixers’ - who aim to optimise performance during a campaign. The pairs

will also thrash out strategic ideas, working in the same way as

creative teams do in ad agencies.



By early May, the company will have eight staff.



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Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).