Indie digital giant AKQA has hired James Hudson from Webliquid as head of media and search for the agency. Hudson, who will head up AKQA’s European media operation, will report to Scott Symonds, global head of AKQA Media.
The move is significant as AKQA, the subject of constant takeover rumours, is keen to move into more areas to compete with the big marcoms companies. Media, chiefly planning and buying search, is an important part of this process.
The company has recently won some substantial media business; French Connection appointed AKQA in April to manage paid search for in the US and UK and Clorox has appointed the agency yo handle paid and organic search for a number of cleaning brands in the US.
Hudson, formerly deputy managing director at Webliquid where he worked on Avis, Hilton and Budget, has also worled at PHD and i-level. At Webliquid his speciality was cross-channel media planning which suggests that AKQA is keen to offer more than just search planning and buying.