Nobody Likes An Intruder, Don’t Let Your Marketing Become One

Lewis Lazare: Element 79 Partners/Chicago has a new partner. The agency whose clients include Gatorade and Tropicana orange juice has acquired a Chicago interactive agency called Tractiv, formed last spring by two former Leo Burnett staffers, Chris Miller and Kurt Karlenzig. “Chris and Kurt are a remarkably good fit with our shop,” said Element 79 leader Brian Williams.
Tractiv, with a staff of five, will be housed inside the Element 79 Partners offices, and will work with that agency’s existing clients to help develop integrated campaigns that include an online component — an increasingly important arena for many advertisers. Though Element 79 Partners has acquired Tractiv, an agency spokeswoman said the unit would also be free to pursue clients that are not on the agency roster and that do not pose a conflict with existing accounts.
Before the acquisition of Tractiv, Element 79 Partners had been using Tribal DDB/Chicago as its interactive agency. Tribal DDB is affiliated with DDB/-Chicago. Both Element 79 and DDB are part of the giant Omnicom Group agency holding company.
Miller and Karlenzig got their start in the interactive marketing biz as principals and founders of a Leo Burnett unit known as Chemistri that subsequently morphed into iLeo, which was then rolled into a new Publicis Groupe entity known as Arc Worldwide.
When the various rounds of rebranding of Chemistri began, both Miller and Karlenzig left to pursue other interests, before finally regrouping last spring to form Tractiv.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. In order to both celebrate and critique the industry, I started AdPulp in Chicago in 2004. In 2006, I launched and led an agency content department at BFG. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.