New CEO at IPG’s Wahlstrom

Interpublic Group’s Mediabrands has hired Kathleen DeCaire-Aden as CEO of directory marketing specialist Wahlstrom, now a part of Geomentum, the division formed last year to focus on so-called “hyper-local” media and marketing activity for clients. 

She effectively succeeds Geoff Kehoe who ran the shop as president since joining the agency a year ago. Kehoe, in turn, has been appointed to the new role of president, Geomentum Ventures, which identifies additional client needs in the local advertising sector and develops offerings to service those needs.
Both DeCaire-Aden and Kehoe will report directly to Geomentum CEO Dave Walker.
DeCaire-Aden and Wahlstrom will work with other units in the Geomentum division, which accounts for about $2 billion in IPG client spending, including, newspaper unit NSA, outdoor specialist OAG and others to develop integrated hyper-local marketing strategies for clients. Like other directory marketing operations, Wahlstrom has expanded its original print product to other platforms including mobile, search and social networking. Further cross-platform expansion will continue under DeCaire-Aden’s watch.
“Today, advanced technologies have made it possible for marketers to truly begin to leverage the power of the neighborhood,” said Walker. “And Kathleen has been a key driver in pushing the industry to recognize that a ‘local’ neighborhood is not just physical anymore. It is digital. It is virtual. It is social and importantly, mobile.”
For the past eight years, DeCaire-Aden was CEO of SMG Directory Marketing, a part of Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group. Prior to that, she worked at Communications Planning Corporation in account services and new business development.
DeCaire-Aden, currently on the National Marketing Division Advisory Council, previously served on the Yellow Pages Association board of directors and was chair of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Telephone Advertising Committee.
“The customer connections within that 14-15 minute drive time [from the store] arre more critical than ever before and Kathleen is the perfect leader to deliver integrated solutions across new media in the hyper-local marketplace, grounded in a results-driven, customer-acquisition mind-set,” Walker said.
Commenting on her appointment, DeCaire-Aden said, “The key emphasis in the early days will be insuring that we are bundling assets in the local marketing offering correctly for advertisers, looking at everything that is happening in terms of value back to the clients and being agile and making the right optimization [efforts] across the different channels we are managing.”
Prior to joining Wahlstrom, Kehoe was global director of e-commerce marketing for Motorola.
Kehoe said he’d be looking for outside firms that Geomentum can partner with to develop new client solutions as part of a broader effort to “provide linkages between the various assets within Mediabrands and to connect the dots on the hyper local go-to-market strategy.” One partnership forged recently was an alliance between OAG and WPP’s Kinetic. The partnership gives OAG, among the top five buyers of OOH media, access to Kinetic’s back-end tools and technology while OAG maintains control of its client business.