Zenith to launch interactive media division

Zenith Media is setting up its own interactive media division and has signed up the former marketing director of Amazon.com to run it.

Zenith Media is setting up its own interactive media division and

has signed up the former marketing director of Amazon.com to run it.



Chris Ketley is in the process of setting up Zenith Interactive

Solutions, which will formally open its doors for business on 4 January.

Damien Blackden, Zenith’s head of press, is moving across to be managing

partner of ZIS.



He said he wanted it to be the most ’pre-eminent new media marketing

services company’ in the UK.



Zenith is working out how best to restructure its press department in

order to replace him. For the past 18 months Blackden has taken on an

increasing amount of new-media work.



He said: ’The more involved you get in it, the more interesting it is

and the more mind-expanding it becomes. Most other media don’t re-invent

themselves every six months.’



The new-media team will initially comprise six people. Most of these

already work at Zenith, but a couple are being recruited from

outside.



The full list of staff should be announced within a fortnight. Clients

on board include Halifax, Lloyds TSB, BT, the Association of Investment

Trust Companies, Viglen and EDS.



ZIS’s activities will go beyond planning and buying on-line, according

to Ketley. His aim is to try to understand the full needs of clients -

or ’customers’ as he calls them - and work around that. If the relevant

expertise is not available within Zenith, he will outsource certain

tasks.



’We need to get very close to digital television and telephone companies

to understand what they have to offer and how they can be of use to our

customers,’ he said.



Perhaps because some of ZIS’s income comes from consultancy, Ketley

refused to say what the division’s launch billings would be.



Ketley spent four months with Amazon.com last year. Before that he

worked for the Automobile Association, Courage, Grand Metropolitan

Brewers and Spillers.



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