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Digital Agency Takes Credit for Tracking Shoppers

Dedicated Media, a digital ad agency in El Segundo, has secured a $5 million credit line that it will use to develop technology that tracks consumer shopping online.

The money comes from Wells Fargo Co.’s Technology and Venture Banking Group. Scott Yamano, chief executive of Dedicated, said some of the money will pay for development of algorithms to track consumer behavior.

For example, Yamano is a Los Angeles Lakers fan and during the season checks the team’s site every morning before work. Current technology would identify him as a male fan and serve him ads for tickets and team merchandise while on the Lakers site.

However, Yamano admitted that he would never buy anything at 7:30 in the morning while visiting the site. He wants to develop a new technology that will serve him the Lakers ad in the late afternoon, when he’s more likely to buy.

The rest of the money will allow the company to buy advertising space online before it collects from clients. Yamano said opportunities for ad discounts often crop up and require immediate payment, and the financing will help the company benefit from those.

Yamano co-owns the company with Chris Berman, chief operating officer. Both were former executives at Myspace. As executives in the ad tech field, they had options when hunting for money but decided to go to a traditional bank.

“We felt strongly that the line of credit would help with cash flow and it wasn’t an equity dilution,” Yamano said. “That was the rationale for going with credit rather than venture capital.”

Enso Acquisition

MWW, a New York PR agency, has purchased Century City firm Enso Communications. JP Schuerman, founding partner of Enso, will join MWW as manager of MWW’s downtown L.A. office.

In his new post, Schuerman will provide strategic counseling to MWW’s clients, which include Irvine-based shoe brand Sanuk and L.A. Community College District.

Schuerman founded Enso in early 2011 and quickly won business from USC, social travel site Triptrotting and Danhov wedding rings– all L.A.-based companies that will join MWW’s client list. Prior to starting Enso, Schuerman was general manager at Edelman in Los Angeles where he worked on projects for Microsoft, Nestle and Warner Bros.

Schuerman told the Business Journal that MWW has a track record in public affairs and corporate PR, while Enso brings expertise in entertainment and lifestyle. One of the agency’s priorities is to work with professional athletes such as mountain climbers and kayakers who are signed up to represent Sanuk.

Enso has closed its office and its five employees have moved to the MWW office in downtown to join the 12 MWW staffers already there.

Growing Search

Search Agency, a digital marketing firm in West Los Angeles, has named Peter Celeste its chief revenue officer.

Celeste will manage sales, marketing and business development in his new job. His primary focus will be on growing the firm’s U.S. ad business.

“U.S. expansion is a top goal for the Search Agency as evidenced by our 24 percent growth in annual revenue,” David Hughes, chief executive, said in a statement. “Peter’s background, coupled with our growth trajectory, will allow us to reach that goal.”

Celeste previously worked as vice president of sales at SmartAction, an artificial intelligence software company in El Segundo. Previously, he worked as Yahoo Inc.’s regional general manager for its search business in the Americas.

Agencies & Accounts

Murphy O’Brien, a hospitality-focused Santa Monica PR agency, has five new clients. The largest is Mimi’s Cafe, the casual-dining restaurant chain based in Irvine with 145 locations in 24 states. Murphy also won business from CopperWynd Resort & Club, a boutique resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dancing Bear Aspen, a condominium complex in the Colorado ski town; Freddy Smalls Bar & Kitchen, a gastropub in West Los Angeles; and Honua Kai Resort & Spa on Ka’anapali Beach on Maui, Hawaii. … Ballantines PR in West Los Angeles has won a contract to represent extended-stay hotel AKA Beverly Hills. The agency will oversee all press coverage, events and local community relations for the hotel. … Carl Terzian Associates, a Westwood PR agency, has new clients in University of La Verne, Pepperdine University Law School and Private Bank of California. … Blitz, a digital agency in Santa Monica, has won the account for the Aruba Tourism Authority. The firm’s first task is a redesign of Aruba.com to make it easy and clear how to plan a vacation on the Caribbean island. … Media Design Group, a direct-response TV-buying agency in Santa Monica, has promoted Meredith Gale to account coordinator. Gale has worked at MDG since 2010 as a commercial time buyer. In her new job, she will monitor campaigns in progress and buy TV time based on results.

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

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