James Curry was a senior vice president at Chicago-based advertising giant Leo Burnett Co., Inc., about a month ago.
That was before the executive said goodbye to the mega-market and headed to San Diego as president of Quill Communications Inc., a company specializing in marketing communications and the new technology for it.
For about two years, Curry oversaw Burnett's diversification into tech-marketing work, he said. He saw client needs change, watched the marketing communications business take flight and decided to join a firm focused on the emerging industry.
He began talking with various firms involved in tech-marketing, some of which are in San Diego. Curry found Quill's technology base to be the most genuine and its growth rate appealing, he said.
Curry, 46, got his start in advertising in South America. His wife worked with Proctor & Gamble there, and her boss suggested Curry meet representatives from the company's advertising agency.
The agency, Grey Advertising, hired him. He was later hired by another company that later became national ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi.
In 1984, he was recruited by Burnett, which sent him to Mexico. Curry rose to become Burnett's regional account director for Latin America, then country manager for Leo Burnett, New Zealand. In 1991, he was sent to Chicago.
Curry is enthusiastic about tech-marketing's future and the entrepreneurialism, he said. The idea of establishing brand identities for now-nameless start-ups appeals to him.
"It's just a very robust and potent time in American business culture," he said.
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Buzz: The Townsend Agency recently made some high-level hires. John Pagliaro is joining the firm as senior vice president and general manager of Townsend's advertising division.
Pagliaro left his own advertising firm in the Silicon Valley, Pagliaro/Kulhman Advertising, last January. As chairman and CEO, he was the agency's chief marketing and campaign strategist. Among his clients were AT & T;, Boeing, Memorex and Toshiba.
Pagliaro's move to Southern California was prompted by his desire to live close to his family.
"I returned to the Southland to rent surfboards and mix in a little consulting on the side," he had said. "Then I met Jackie Townsend."
He also missed the agency pace, he said.
Also joining Townsend is Cathy Sang, whose new title is senior vice president for the agency's public relations division. Sang comes to San Diego from Dallas, where she was director of executive communications with EDS, a global information technologies services corporation. Before that, she was with Texas Instruments for three years.
The changes at Townsend were in part prompted by the appointment of previous general manager Bernhard Schroeder to chairman of the agency's strategic advisory board. Schroeder joined Townsend last year.
He was previously the global account director and partner with national marketing agency USWeb/CKS.
Marketing Storm: One spot: news footage of a hurricane. The second: a rock band performing at a House of Blues venue. The third: a Web-based business conference held by Microsoft.
In each, a young man appears with a series of placards explaining that the content is being delivered by Intervu Inc.
The commercials, for locally based media Internet streamer Intervu, is one side of the $16 million TV and online branding campaign designed by Big Bang Idea Engineering.
The Del Mar agency's campaign, called "Bring Us Your Content," debuted in mid-February and shows the audio and video content Intervu offers. The campaign includes the three 30-second television spots and multiple online banners.
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Status Chart, Media: Chula Vista-based Califormula Broadcasting recently hired local consultant Mike Shepard, a former vice president of programming and operations for country station KSON-FM and other Jefferson Pilot properties, to help fine-tune its "Hot New Country" station XHCR-FM 99.3. Shepard, who left Jefferson Pilot in 1998, is a senior vice president with market research company Moyes Research & Strategy of Colorado Springs, Colo. KPRZ-AM General Manager Mark Larson will be adding his show to conservative-talk KCBQ-AM, which Larson and KPRZ began operating last year. Larson will continue doing his show, called "Larson Live!" His new KCBQ show will air at 3 p.m., preceding his KPRZ slot by an hour. "The Ollie North Show" will now air on KCBQ from 4 to 7 p.m., and Ken Hamblin's "The Black Avenger" will be heard from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Status Chart, Marketing: Locally based CollegeClub.com has launched its first national advertising campaign, designed by Los Angeles-based agency Suissa Miller. The $15 million campaign broke in 100 markets on Feb. 14. The local office of New York City-based Presence Euro RSCG recently signed local firm Innercool Therapies, Inc. and Seattle-based cancerfacts.com. Matthews/Mark will develop corporate identity packages for local gaming venue Viejas Enterprises and Irvine-based financing Web site loanGenie.com. Gaslamp Quarter-based McRae Agency recently opened a branch in San Francisco.
The deadline for the next media & marketing column is March 24. Rodrigues can be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 107, or via E-mail at email@example.com.