Hotwire throws hat into digital arena

Hotwire has launched a specialist digital agency in a bid to attract new clients in the retail and media sectors.

33 Digital will target clients outside the traditional technology sphere. Hotwire has already signed up eight clients for the new agency, including Debenhams and Silicon Valley start-up Evernote. In addition ft.com, an existing Hotwire client, will transfer over to the new agency.

Hotwire director Drew Benvie has been made MD of 33 Digital. He insisted the agency was not simply reacting to the hype around social media. 'This isn't a play on the fact that Twitter or Facebook is big,' he said. Rather, 33 Digital responds to a need for digital PR services and a lack of expertise, claimed Benvie.

Kristin Syltevik, MD of Hotwire, said the main agency would continue to work in the digital sphere but 33 Digital would step in if a deeper level of digital expertise were needed.

Syltevik added: 'Digital is a "Klondike" rush. Brands are watching their above-the-line spend and turning to digital.'

33 Digital will be headed up in the UK, but will have seven staff members across Germany, France and Spain. In London the team will include programme manager Dom Whitehurst, programme director Phil Sheard and programme executive Ben Matthews, all of whom move across from roles at Hotwire.

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