Marketers gear up inhouse agency

Signifying that its domain has expanded far beyond the primetime walls, Fox’s marketing department has morphed into an inhouse ad agency to be called Fox Infinity.

Fox marketing exec VP Chris Carlisle will head up Fox Infinity, which will focus on marketing and promotion for the network, its new-media initiatives, other divisions of News Corp. and even Fox’s media clients.

“We felt we needed to brand ourselves internally, as well as reorganize,” Carlisle said. “Over the past couple of years, what our marketing department has been called to do within the larger News Corp. family has dramatically increased. We do work for every area of the entertainment group, including home entertainment, mobile, digital, the studio, international and licensing and marketing.

“We create assets for everyone within the corporation,” Carlisle said.

As part of the division’s restructure, Carlisle has divided Fox Infinity into three components: content development, content design and operations.

To head up two of those slots, former Yahoo exec Bill Bradford has joined the division as senior VP of content strategy, while Michael Vamosy will serve as senior VP of design, moving over from Fox’s sister FX cabler.

Vamosy will oversee print, interactive and on-air design, while Bradford will focus on bringing traffic to and producing original promo content to be distributed on various platforms.

“This is really about streamlining and making ourselves much more adaptable and agile for the future,” Carlisle said. “I hired Michael at FX. He really adds a great amount of creativity and sophistication to the company and knows how to manage people. And Bill has experience and a great deal of business acumen in the online world.”

Bradford served as VP of cross-media products at Yahoo; before that, he spent time at America Online and Oracle. Vamosy had been with FX since October 2002, working on packaging for shows including “The Shield.” He joined FX from Rare Medium.

Carlisle said Fox Infinity boasts a staff of around 150. Across town, NBC has operated its own inhouse agency, the NBC Agency, for several years, but Carlisle stopped short of comparing the two.

Meanwhile, about 65% of Fox Infinity’s workload will continue to be focused on Fox network duties, with the other 35% spread around News Corp., he said.

“Our primary function is to market the network’s shows, whether on-air, online, with paid media, or the creation of all the different branding elements,” he said.

Digital will represent a large portion of Fox Infinity’s workload, he added.

“Most big deals now are integrated, and there are large components online,” said Carlisle, who noted that the division works closely with Fox Interactive Media on several fronts. “We have to create specific digital assets as well. That has changed the nature of what we do, and it was the right time to create a much more progressive, forward-thinking structure.”

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