…as online trio start Web media independent

Three top names from the world of online advertising have launched an independent media planning and buying agency for the Internet, called “i-level”.

Charlie Dobres, the founder of Lowe Interactive, Andrew Walmsley, head of digital media at BBH, and Craig Wilkie, who founded the Guardian’s Media Lab, launched the agency this week.

Dobres and Walmsley will run the planning, buying and monitoring of campaigns, while Wilkie will be the agency’s creative director.

Wilkie says: “My role will be to stand back from the mechanics of buying and planning and to act as a catalyst by promoting creative thinking about campaigns and their objectives, particularly in terms of cross media and sponsorship.”

One of i-level’s objectives is to work with other media agencies, not against them.

According to Walmsley and Dobres, many media agencies have insufficient volume in the new media market but their clients demand that the Web is integrated into their media plans. He says i-level offers media buying which does not compete with their existing business, and as it is an independent, media agencies can recommend it.

“We will not handle advertisers’ business directly when we have an arrangement with their agency,” says Dobres. i-level is opening offices in London’s Victoria this week. It will have a staff of ten.

New Media, page 42

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