JWT Expands Digitaria Brand To Minneapolis

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Breakout interactive marketing and technology company to enjoin Minnesota digital-specialist office, bringing “digital product innovation” to the Twin Cities

JWT announced today that the company’s Minneapolis office, a dedicated digital specialist currently servicing clients including UnitedHealth Group (UHG), will become a Digitaria office, effective immediately.

JWT acquired Digitaria, a digital marketing and technology company based in San Diego, in August 2010, to buttress its growing interactive capabilities. Since then, Digitaria has maintained a steady trajectory of growth, adding Under Armour, Petco and other clients to its roster, as well as winning numerous awards and recognition for its creative thinking and digital marketing competency. JWT and Digitaria’s shared clients include Qualcomm, Rolex and Royal Caribbean, amongst others.

“Digitaria continues to show impressive growth, and has proven itself a forward-thinking company that fits incredibly well inside the JWT brand,” said David Eastman, CEO, JWT North America and Worldwide Digital Director. “Their entrepreneurial spirit provides us with an opportunity to drive innovation and thought leadership into a distinctly digital office inside the JWT network, in a region with many great companies.”

Digitaria’s history is grounded in digital marketing communications. The company was originally launched as a boutique design shop in 1997, and then grew dramatically following its 2005 merger with Southern California independent tech company Console, which brought the streamlined capability to build websites and other interactive experiences in-house. In recent years, Digitaria has expanded its skill set to analytics, search, social marketing and digital product innovation—the actual design and creation of digital products for clients like Qualcomm, Prima and a major international automotive company. In 2010, JWT acquired 100 percent of Digitaria.

Digitaria CEO Daniel Khabie said he was grateful for the faith, confidence and support the company has received from JWT and its executives, and that he is looking forward to working closely with the team in Minneapolis.

“With this step, Digitaria immediately gains a key client in the health care category, UnitedHealth Group (UHG),” said Khabie. “UHG is the biggest and the best place to start, and it’s a great honor to be working with them. By making the Minneapolis office part of the Digitaria family, we’ll be able to better capitalize upon our digital expertise and assets to broaden the office’s client base, while maintaining international reach through our connection to JWT and its global network.”

Bringing the Digitaria brand to Minneapolis is an example of dotJWT in action. dotJWT is the operating system that unites all of JWT’s digital expertise, both in its specialist agencies and within JWT, and connects them internationally to solve client problems. dotJWT encompasses nearly 2,000 specialists, nine+ agency brands, 20+ locations and more than 100 clients.

The Minneapolis office will be fully integrated and become part of a single Digitaria P&L, with talent moving freely between offices and blending cultures. The rebranded JWT Minneapolis becomes Digitaria’s second largest office, after its San Diego headquarters, with roughly 60 employees. It also has a presence in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Khabie, a Minneapolis native, added, “Minnesota is rich with intriguing and successful businesses, and while we’re going to focus on servicing UnitedHealth Group with the excellence they are used to, we’re also eager to expand into areas of consumer packaged goods and other categories.”

Joyce Zincke, Vice President, Operations, will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the office, reporting to Digitaria’s President and Chief Operating Officer Doug Hecht. Khabie and Hecht will split their time between the San Diego office and Minneapolis.

About JWT
JWT is the world’s best-known marketing communications brand. Headquartered in New York, JWT is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. JWT consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues its dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from producing the first-ever TV commercial in 1939 to developing award-winning branded content for brands such as Smirnoff, Macy’s, Ford and HSBC. JWT’s creative philosophy of making things inspired by the world enables the agency to forge deep relationships with clients including Bayer, Bloomberg, Cadbury, Diageo, DTC, Ford, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Kraft, Nestlé, Nokia, Rolex, Royal Caribbean, Schick, Shell, Unilever, Vodafone and many others. JWT’s parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).

About Digitaria
Digitaria, OMMA Magazine’s current Design/Interactive Agency of the Year, is a full service marketing and technology firm, with offices in San Diego, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Founded in 1997, Digitaria provides integrated business solutions that include digital product innovation, Web strategy, interactive marketing, optimization and analytics, design, user experience, hosting and content management technology, and Web development. Part of WPP, the world’s largest marketing services holding company, and aligned with legendary advertising agency JWT, the agency’s rapid growth has been built upon the melding of digital creative design with technology, which enables Digitaria to concept groundbreaking ideas and then use in-house resources and talent to bring those ideas to life. By offering customers the widest range of technology and services under one roof, Digitaria continues to provide innovative solutions that guarantee clients remain at the forefront of the digital revolution. Its clients include Qualcomm, NBC/Universal, Under Armour, Royal Caribbean, DreamWorks, Petco, Best Western, the NFL and several of its franchises. Its website is http://www.digitaria.com.

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Anaka Kobzev
JWT
+1 (212) 210-8691
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Tom Siebert
Digitaria
+1 (619) 546-7402
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