Neslund's Got Moxie, Rejoins Publicis To Run Zenith's Digital Shop

Scott Neslund, a former big, general media agency honcho who jumped to the digital side a year or so ago, has rejoined Publicis Groupe as president of Moxie Interactive, a technologically-focused, full-service digital agency that operates as part of Zenith Media. Neslund, who most recently was CEO of digital marketing shop Red Bricks, previously was CEO of WPP's Mindshare North America, and before that had held an array of senior media management positions within Publicis, including president of Starlink.

At Moxie, Neslund will report to CEO Joel Lunenfeld, one of the founders who started out as the agency's media director.

While it operates under one of Publicis' best-known media agencies, Moxie focuses on using the latest technology to provide full-service digital branding and media for marketers, and has had an impressive new business run, picking up accounts recently from L'Oréal USA, RecycleBank, AIG, Rodale and Pennington Seed. It was that growth, and a tripling of Moxie's staff to more than 300 since being acquired by Zenith, that led Lunenfeld to broaden out its management team, and recruit Neslund, who will be based in Moxie's Atlanta headquarters.

"Right now, talent is one of the key things an agency can bring to its clients," says Lunenfeld, adding that Neslund brings the experience of managing a large organization, and knows how to recruit and retain good people.

Meanwhile, Lunenfeld says Moxie continues to focus on creating and exploiting technologies and communications models that can help its clients' brands connect with consumers. For example, Moxie had social media models and tools built into its organization before social media exploded on Madison Avenue, and many of its approaches have become central to Publicis' VivaKi Nerve Center.

More recently, Lunenfeld said Moxie has added more sophisticated account planning and brand planning systems, and has "solidified" both its social and mobile media practices, and has created new, proprietary software systems for managing them.

He hinted that Moxie was close to introducing new business models and service approaches in the next several months, and that adding another key person to its management team was crucial to managing that growth.

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