Initiative upgrades digital team


Initiative has promoted its US head of interactive operations Michael Hayes to EVP, Managing Director, Digital; and hired highly interactive professional Amy Auerbach to lead its New York digital operations as SVP, Director, Digital, Initiative’s US President Tim Spengler announced yesterday.

“Michael works hard, not only for our clients, but also at being a good boss and terrific leader by example,” Spengler said.  “He and his group fulfill our promise to clients every day: ‘Turning media exchanges into marketing results.’ We would not be the agency we are today without him.”

Since joining Initiative in 2005, the L.A.-based Hayes has been a pivotal member of the Initiative executive team, as the company successful transformed itself from a traditional media buying agency into digital marketing force.  His presence has been the central engine behind the company’s swift digital growth from a handful of employees into more than 100 people, the result of a nearly 500% increase in revenue.

A significant proportion of that increase was a result of Initiative’s game-changing wins of Hyundai, KIA and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, all of which came in January of 2008 and boast considerable online spending budgets.  These new clients have particularly singled out Hayes and his team for their expertise, passion and commitment, both as keys to Initiative earning their business and as critical ongoing assets that have continued to prove their worth, said Spengler.
Auerbach joins Initiative from PHDiQ, the digital arm of Omnicom media shop PHD, where she led its East Coast operations as Director of Interactive, overseeing digital media for Chrysler, HBO, Discovery Networks, Siemens, and AIG. Previously, she was VP, Digital Group Account Director at Havas’ Media Contacts, where her breakout opportunity came as leader of online marketing for what was at the time the nation’s largest online advertiser, Vonage VOiP, as well as ING Direct and Outback Steakhouse.  Additionally, she has worked with Intel, Volvo, Polaroid, and a handful of other clients across multiple categories. Her first day at Initiative was November 5.