Fearless Group, the new New York-based agency, has at least one longtime digital guru on board: Robert Davidman. Prior to joining integrated media agency EarthQuake Media as CEO 10 years ago, he was director of international broadcast services for Yahoo. He joined Yahoo after its 1999 $5.9 billion acquisition of Mark Cuban's early Web broadcasting company Broadcast. com, where Davidman served as senior director of sales and marketing technology.
"Brands and agencies need to confront and manage fear in order to properly communicate with today's consumers from TV through to Twitter," Davidman said, explaining the new agency's moniker. According to Fearless Group's Web site: "Find the antidote to fear and liberate advertising in all its forms."
EarthQuake, which will continue operating with Davidman as CEO, is handling media buying and planning for Fearless. But the new agency doesn't lack for other media expertise -- one of its other founding "titans" is Robin Kent, former chairman and CEO of Interpublic's Universal McCann; another is Tim Walsh, founder and CEO of barter media company Access Trade Management.
On the creative and brand side, other Fearless founders/partners are: Jerry Judge, former CEO of the Interpublic partnership that included Lowe, Draft and Mullen; Peter Gibb, former creative director at WPP's Y&R; Michael Head, former senior executive at Johnson & Johnson; and two execs from Cunning NY, which also counts Judge as "non executive chairman": Mark Voysey, co-founder, and Floyd Hayes, creative head.
Davidman points out that most of the work done so far by Fearless -- which has been operating in beta mode since July -- has been in the digital area, including online videos created for client Phone.com. Another Fearless client that has been revealed is Pure Foods.
One very public media placement has been for Fearless itself -- a digital billboard in Times Square featuring an upside-down slogan "Safe Advertising Isn't," with slogans about fear streaming on the bottom.
Fearless Group has also revealed one digital vendor: the new agency is using the XA.net's ;optim.al platform for real-time bidding, retargeting and Facebook campaigns. Kent said the XA.net technology has been "very helpful to us in quickly scaling both our display and social spending globally."