Carat Expands Search Team

As part of a broad push to boost its search marketing capabilities, Carat Fusion Monday hired Bill Mungovan to serve as director of search marketing for the West Coast. Mungovan, who came from LookSmart, replaces David Roth, who left Carat in April to join Yahoo.

Mungovan is one of seven new search marketing professionals to join the media shop in the last two months. Carat now counts 35 search staffers--up from about 23 one year ago, estimated Jeremy Cornfeldt, vice president of search and affiliate marketing at the shop.

The new hires appear to reflect the growing importance of search marketing to the agency. Last year, David Verklin, CEO of Carat Americas, predicted that search would soon be included in every media plan. "Everybody from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese to direct marketing will be in search," he said at UBS' 2005 Media Week conference in New York.

While that scenario is still in the future, Cornfeldt said that most of Carat's clients are now integrating search in their campaigns. "The majority are utilizing search, in some way shape or form," he said. But, he added, some of those marketers don't treat search as an "always-on medium." Instead, they use paid search as an adjunct to specific campaigns. "We have clients that are aligning it with specific campaigns, but have a start and end date," Cornfeldt said.

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