Why did Ad.net Chief Executive Jon Waterman recently change his company’s moniker?

Waterman founded the company as Findology Interactive Media Inc. in 2000; it’s a search engine with pay-per-click advertising. The company sold ads that appeared with the search results, similar to the sponsored-results model that Google later developed. For the next seven years, Waterman developed a network of publishers who bought ads through his search engine.

In 2007, he sold the company to Photon Group in Sydney, Australia. The new owners tried to branch into related businesses, including technology licensing and processing online credit card transactions. Along the way, the business changed from search engine ads into other types of advertising, including popups and e-mail.

When Photon ran into debt problems and needed cash last year, Waterman bought the company back. He soon realized that Findology, which means “the study of finding things,” no longer described the company.

“We got great feedback on the name, but it took a lot of time to explain to people what we really did,” Waterman said. “Since we had become an advertising network, Ad.net seemed the best option.”

Ad.net places ads on more than 40 billion Web pages a month. The company has 25 employees at its Century City offices.

Bicoastal Chairman

Art Center College of Design in Pasadena has named New York-based alumni Gary Goldsmith as chairman of its advertising department.

Goldsmith will continue to live in the Big Apple, where he runs Underhead, an agency he co-founded. He will spend about 12 days a month in Pasadena and believes this bicoastal approach will benefit students.

“I’m working in the world our graduates will soon be entering and the knowledge and insights I can give them are actual, not theoretical,” he told the Business Journal. “In terms of building a strong base of industry relationships in the U.S., I can’t imagine anything better than splitting my time between the two most dynamic markets, New York and L.A.”

Goldsmith graduated from Art Center in 1981. He later worked for DDB, Chiat/Day and Young & Rubicam. In the 1990s, he co-founded Goldsmith/Jeffrey, a New York agency that was acquired in 1997 by Interpublic Group. He later co-founded Underhead, which works in digital advertising, social media and package design.

During his time in Los Angeles, Goldsmith plans to connect with local ad agencies through both one-on-one meetings and at new events he hopes to organize.

Veteran Client

The Patton Foundation, a non-profit in Hobe Sound, Fla., run by the family of WWII Gen. George Patton, has selected Century City’s Pollack PR Marketing Group to promote the book “Portraits of Service.”

The book profiles more than 60 living veterans who made personal sacrifices to serve their country. PPMG will use media relations and events to publicize the book.

Helen Patton, president of the foundation and granddaughter of the general, said PPMG won the account because of its past success in marketing books and working with non-profits.

Agencies & Accounts

Fleishman-Hillard has hired Emilie Nicks Cotter as global co-chairwoman of the firm’s entertainment team. She will split her time between the agency’s L.A. and San Diego offices. Her previous job was as director of corporate communication at Lucasfilm in San Francisco. Fleishman-Hillard is a unit of Omnicom Group. … Ad agency Deutsch LA has named Jeff White as director of business development. White joined Deutsch 13 years ago and has worked on accounts such as Coors Brewing Co. and DirecTV Inc. … L.A.-based Mercury Insurance Group has signed an agreement to sponsor USC Trojan football for the 2012 season. The agreement was made through Mercury’s marketing agency, PCG Campbell. Mercury already sponsors UCLA football and basketball, and the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. … Cerrell Associates has promoted Brandon Stephenson to managing director of the firm’s campaigns and issues management division. Stephenson has worked on the issues team for seven years, managing such campaigns as the successful “Yes on Prop 20” for state redistricting and the “No on Prop 86” against a cigarette tax. In his new job, Stephenson will manage the team day to day. … Adam Roundtree has been named business development director at Media Design Group, a production house that makes direct-response TV commercials in Santa Monica. Roundtree previously worked at ad agency Spot Runner and ABC Radio in Los Angeles. … Mayo Communications has landed the PR account for the Carnival of Darkness Horror Sci-Fi Short Film Festival. The West Hills agency will handle international media relations for the event, scheduled for Oct. 24 in Hollywood.

Staff reporter Joel Russell can be reached at jrussell@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 237.

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