NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2012) - George Gallate, who established and ran Havas's digital network in 1996 -- one of the first such networks in the advertising industry -- and led its expansion globally, is joining digital-marketing and search agency RKG as CEO, effective Jan. 1st.
Gallate, most recently global chairman of Havas Worldwide Digital, will continue to be based in New York. He succeeds RKG co-founder and CEO George Michie, who will take on the role of Chief Marketing Scientist.
RKG is based in Charlottesville, VA, and has offices in Boston, San Francisco and Bend, Ore.
"RKG is a digital market leader. A combination of proprietary technology and some of the smartest analysts in the field gives them a deep understanding of real customer intent and the ability to create marketing programs that drive ROI," said Gallate. "A lot of agencies talk about the intersection of search and social and using data to inform marketing. RKG is doing it."
A privately held agency, RKG has grown 60 percent within the past year. The agency's clients include Drugstore.com, Eddie Bauer, Express, Herman Miller, Jones of New York, Urban Outfitters and Zales.
Though privately held RKG is one of Google's largest search agencies globally. RKG's strength in search is derived from proprietary technology that uses clustering to more effectively bid on and buy search beyond simple search terms.
"Search is an absolute hot button for CMOs because it signals real customer intent, especially on a mobile device," Gallate added. "Search is about what's important to an individual in a particular context but social is about what's important to that person's family, friends and larger community. It creates a halo of intent and possibility that's earned, not paid."
An Australia native, Gallate, 49, began his advertising career in 1984 at Ogilvy & Mather in Sydney, the same year he graduated from the University of New South Wales. Two years later, he joined Euro RSCG Direct. He started one of Euro RSCG's first digital agencies from his Australian base. Within 10 years he was named regional director for Euro RSCG Asia Pacific.
As early as 1995, Gallate saw the potential for using the Internet as an advertising platform because it could offer a brand-building complement to TV while combining the accountability of direct marketing.
He continued to rise through the ranks at Euro, and during his career he has lived variously in New York, Sydney, Singapore and Shanghai. In 1998, Gallate was named global brand director on the agency's Intel account, and by 2003, he took the CEO position at Euro RSCG 4D, the digital and direct marketing arm of the agency network.
Since 2006, he has held the global chairman title at Havas Worldwide Digital, which was until March 1, 2012, was known as Euro RSCG.
Most recently Gallate won the global digital IBM and Hershey's accounts. He also led the global integrated pitch for Intel ASUS, and was involved in Havas' recent global win of the global Unilever data and CRM business.
"I am delighted to be partnering with George. He brings a tremendous depth of experience in working with large global clients. As the architect of Havas Worldwide Digital, his track record in innovation and driving growth is second to none," said George Michie, the co-founder and now chief marketing scientist of RKG.
RKG is a full-service digital marketing agency that combines superior marketing talent with leading edge technology to create the industry's most effective data-driven online marketing solutions. Founded in 2003, RKG specializes in working with clients in retail, travel, financial and B2B organizations ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500 companies. RKG is a privately held company headquartered in Charlottesville, VA with offices in Bend, OR and Boston, MA. For more information visit www.rimmkaufman.com or follow the company on Twitter @rimmkaufman.