Initiative Media launches online advertising offshoot

Initiative Media is launching a global agency to work with its media operation to provide integrated online communications strategies for advertisers.

The new agency, FastBridge, will offer advice on online advertising across new-media platforms to maximise clients' interactive media campaigns. Its client base will be drawn from traditional clients and new-media companies.

Sergio Lorca, the chief executive of Initiative Europe, said that FastBridge would complement Initiative's existing online media planning and buying expertise. As well as strategic consulting, interactive project management and web-based customer relationship marketing, FastBridge will tap Initiative's research and online planning and buying optimisation expertise, he added.

FastBridge launches in the US this month and is expected to be running in Europe by early next year. The global network of FastBridge agencies will be headed by Lynn Bolger, who joins from Initiative in the US. Lorca is now looking for a chief to run the European operations.

FastBridge Europe will be based in London, from where all of the European management and client servicing will be co-ordinated. However, there will also be a FastBridge centre of excellence in Stockholm that will provide the information backbone and logistics support for the European network.

FastBridge launches with billings of more than dollars 50 million, mostly in the US, and intends to build on Initiative's digital and interactive relationships across Europe, with clients such as Unilever, Cisco and Johnson & Johnson.

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