Soul Advertising appoints Mark Swift to head media department

Soul Advertising has appointed Mark Swift, the former sales director of Virgin Radio, to head Soul Space, its media offering unveiled this week.

Swift, who also spent five years as an account director at Channel 5, will be in charge of the day-to-day running of Soul Space. The new department is designed to build business partnerships with media owners on behalf of the agency's current and prospective clients, reflecting the media industry's increasingly complicated structure.

The Soul partner Kevin Brown, who will also oversee the new project, said: "Consolidation on the media owner side means there are fewer access points to an audience, but each media group now provides greater breadth of opportunities and tools to reach them."

The new initiative will enable clients to expand their media use beyond advertising into sponsorship deals, licensing contracts, distribution, programming and database access.

Brown added: "To truly realise these opportunities you need to start with a clear understanding of a brand and how it is trying to engage with its audience. As an advertising agency with a brand planning and creative resource, we are uniquely placed."

Swift, who has previously worked with Brown at BMP DDB, said: "I know from hands-on experience how frustrating it is for clients and media owners to develop 360-degree solutions in partnership. This is mostly exa-cerbated by creative and media thinking not working together."

Swift added: "This current offering gives us an opportunity to extend our service and therefore give clients and their brands a real competitive edge."

Soul is the latest in a growing number of agencies to bolster its in-house media capacity. Publicis hired Unity's Derek Morris a year ago to offer clients a more media-neutral approach.

J. Walter Thompson has entered talks with Unity about a deal, while Clemmow Hornby Inge launched a joint venture with Naked called Naked Inside at the end of last year.

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