Minneapolis office of JWT gets new name

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 23, 2012 - 9:21 PM

The Minneapolis office of advertising powerhouse JWT is rebranding itself as Digitaria to reflect its emphasis on digital media marketing, the firm announced Monday.

Digitaria's principal local client will remain UnitedHealth Group but the office is in the market for additional clients and expects the current staff of 60 to grow by 20 employees within the next year.

Digitaria also will be moving from its office space in the Hyatt Regency Hotel on the Nicollet Mall to the AT&T Tower on Marquette Avenue and 9th Street.

JWT, formerly known as J. Walter Thompson, acquired Digitaria in 2010. Digitaria was created in 1997 in San Diego, Calif., as an all-digital firm. It specializes in digital product innovation, Web strategy, interactive marketing and analytics.

Minneapolis will be Digitaria's second-largest office. The firm also has locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.

Digitaria CEO Daniel Khabie, a native of St. Louis Park, will move to the Twin Cities this summer and shuttle between the Minneapolis and San Diego offices.

Local talent was key draw

"We chose Minneapolis because of the talent that exists in the marketplace," said Khabie in a telephone interview. "We're focused on growing UNH [UnitedHealth Group] and will continue to look at other businesses."

Khabie said the agency hopes to build a regional client list that goes beyond the Twin Cities.

Besides UnitedHealth Group, other clients served in the Minneapolis office include Rasmussen College, Wal-Mart Canada and Tim Horton's, a Canadian-based coffee, pastry and sandwich chain.

New York-based JWT has more than 200 offices worldwide and 10,000 marketing professionals. Clients include Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia and Kellogg's.

David Phelps • 612-673-7269

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