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VCCP launches internet search engine agency

LONDON - Chime-owned advertising agency Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest is launching a dedicated search engine marketing agency called VCCPsearch.

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The new agency will not work on the business of VCCP clients, but on the clients of other Chime-owned agencies including Bell Pottinger Public Relations.

The agency is being headed by managing director Paul Mead, who was formerly managing director of two year old specialist search agency Quartz Interactive.

VCCPsearch will specialise in search engine optimisation, pay per click marketing, digital consultancy and search technology services.

According to Mead: "For most people, search engines are the gateway to the internet; so brands can not ignore them if they want to get their message across. Search is the fastest growing area in marketing."

The agency will focus on three main areas that it is calling "Search for Brand", "Search for Response" and "Search Integration".

Mead said: "Using only three major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN) advertisers can reach over 90% of the UK's 30m online audience. And with the ongoing fragmentation of offline media, search engine marketing is offering an incredible opportunity to position, protect and develop brands through its huge reach. This is a fundamental and significant switch in the way brands seek to deliver their chosen messages."

VCCPsearch will have a strong brand focus, which VCCP sees as being an area under-represented in the market.

Mead said: "We understand that search marketing is part of a much bigger remit and needs to be one of the key elements of an integrated campaign. However, it is becoming increasingly important. The major advertisers in the UK still spend a tiny percentage of their budget online and this is disproportionate to where their audience are spending their media time."

The new agency will increase the VCCP Group to seven agencies with more than 400 blue-chip clients including O2, Coca-Cola, Dunhill, ING Direct and Metro.

Ian Priest, founding partner of VCCP, said: "To stay ahead of the game and offer clients' best practice and the most complete strategy it is imperative to constantly enhance and adapt agencies. VCCPsearch extends our offering."

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