Cohen takes Initiative West gig

Marketing exec joined company in 2005

Marketing vet Alan Cohen has taken the reins of Initiative North America’s West Coast operations as exec VP-managing director.

Cohen will now lead the recently reorganized Initiative West team out of its Los Angeles offices. He reports to Initiative North America CEO Richard Beaven.

A longtime marketing exec for NBC and ABC, Cohen joined Initiative in 2005 and most recently served as exec VP-managing director, innovations and entertainment, for North America.

Cohen will continue with those duties in addition to his new leadership role.

“Alan is a visionary thinker who has repeatedly proven that he understands how to connect clients with the empowered individuals and communities who can easily avoid their messages if they prefer,” Beaven said.

Cohen’s new position comes following Initiative’s decision late last year to divide its operations into two: Initiative East and Initiative West. Rob FitzGerald, Initiative’s former head of Asia operations, was earlier named exec VP-managing director of Initiative East.

At Initiative, Cohen has worked with clients such as CBS, Lionsgate and Showtime; at the cabler he conjured buzz for promoting “Weeds” in Rolling Stone with marijuana-scented strips. He also brokered a marketing partnership between the Eye and TiVo and promoted the DVD release of “Saw III” through a mobile TV channel.

“It is the perfect time to be redefining how clients connect with the new consumer and engage all consumers in meaningful ways,” Cohen said.

Cohen will work closely with Sue Johenning, exec VP-director of local broadcast (and former acting head of the L.A. office), and San Diego office head Randy Bixler.

Cohen, who most recently worked with Showtime on the integration campaign to launch “The Tudors,” won an Emmy in 1997 for a public service integrated programming and marketing campaign.

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