Omnicom’s Rapp is launching a U.S. media planning and buying practice and has hired agency veteran Steven Piluso to run it as U.S. head of activation and media. He will be based in New York and report to Rapp Managing Director Greg Andersen.
The new unit will offer media strategy and activation services across all channels, including TV. Buying will be outsourced to other Omnicom agencies, which include PHD and OMD.
Piluso joins Rapp from sibling agency PHD, where he served as managing director and chief strategy officer for nearly four years. Previously, he served in a number of roles at WPP’s GroupM.
“Adding a media function extends RAPP’s ability to create forward-looking media strategies and distribution plans that work in tandem with media investment agencies,” said Anderson. “We are excited to have Steven apply his creative media expertise to help build out this capability at our company.”
Added Piluso: “The future favors companies with a heritage in data and analytics and a comfort in capturing and mining data for essential insights and information to create measurable, ROI-validated solutions to clients’ challenges.”
For Rapp the addition of the new U.S. media practice is the latest in a series of major developments at the shop this year. In July a new CEO came on board -- Alexei Orlov, who was previously a top marketing executive at Volkswagen. He succeeded Bob Horvath, who continues as the agency’s global chairman.
The agency is also expanding in other directions. In June it acquired Haygarth, a UK-based brand and retail agency, providing Rapp with added expertise in the digital retail shopper and fast-moving consumer goods sectors.
This story has been updated to note that Rapp's new media unit will outsource buying.