Kansas City-based independent Barkley has named Jim Elms to a dual role at the agency, including CEO of its FutureCast consulting business, where he will oversee the firm’s focus on Millennial and Gen Z research and lead media services. He will also serve as Chief Engagement Officer.
In the second role, he is tasked with bringing enhanced scale, data capabilities and creativity to the company’s media offering.
Previously, Elms was managing director of IPG, where he's credited with being a key contributor to the team that reeled in the Amazon media account. Earlier, Elms was global CEO of Initiative Media and head of global strategy at UM, which he joined in 2010.
The new role is a homecoming for Elms, who spent nearly three years at Barkley as director of insight and delivery from early 2005 until late 2007.
Stated Barkley CEO Jeff King: “As an independent agency, we have invested heavily in understanding modern consumers, and we are fixated on how brands connect to people through shared interests and contexts. Jim has built his career around those ideas.”
As CEO of FutureCast, Elms will combine the company's existing generational research with his background in communications planning and emerging technology to create products that help brands connect to consumers. One of FutureCast’s first clients is IPG, which has engaged the unit to consult on its massive global Amazon business.
Philippe Krakowsky, Interpublic's Chief Strategy and Talent Officer and Chairman and CEO of IPG Mediabrands, stated, "Pushing the boundaries on the future of communications strategy has always been one of Jim’s passions. We’re excited to see where that journey takes him and to continue our working relationship with Jim through the partnership between FutureCast and IPG.”
Elms is also developing a media services capability to provide independent media consultation and services to large clients and creative agencies.
"FutureCast made its mark with groundbreaking insights around Millennials and Gen Z that help clients become smarter about their future,” stated Elms. “We will now evolve FutureCast into a living lab of communications through emerging technologies.”
The expanded practice will focus on creating strategies to master Amazon’s ecosystem and the impact it has on marketers.