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Eva Looks to New Horizon

Mar 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Eva Kantrowitz is embracing independence.
After a long stint at MPG, where she was senior VP and group account director, Ms. Kantrowitz earlier this month joined Horizon Media, the largest independent media agency, as a managing director of brand strategy.
Horizon, known as a buying agency, has been beefing up its strategic capacities, and adding Ms. Kantrowitz is part of the new structure.
“This brand group setup is unique,” she said. “It has account people for service and protecting the brand and then it has the planning people for media-planning strategy and consumer engagement.”
Ms. Kantrowitz thinks Horizon’s status as an independent agency holds advantages as well. “You’re more free to define yourself,” she said. “You’re probably even more accountable, but there’s just less bureaucracy.”
The managers of most holding-company agencies used to work in the media departments of full-service agencies before their media departments were spun off. “A lot of them are great media people, but they’re not business people,” she said. “They were about doing the media plan. But because this agency has always been an independent and it wasn’t spun off from a full-service agency, it has a much smarter business sense to it.”
As one of three managing directors at the agency, Ms. Kantrowitz is responsible for accounts including Geico, History Channel, David’s Bridal, Boar’s Head and Helzberg Diamonds. Although she’s been busy, she has already noticed that Horizon’s clients seem very happy. She said it wouldn’t be surprising for some clients to be happy, but she finds that they all seem happy.
Ms. Kantrowitz’s first job in the advertising business was as a secretary to an associate media director at the ad agency Needham Harper. She soon moved up to associate media director and thought she was living the good life.
One Friday she finished a project and went out to lunch with her co-workers at Il Vagabondo, a Manhattan restaurant, where they played bocce all afternoon. “As a kid, I thought this was a great business,” she recalled. “Nobody has time for that anymore.”
She moved to HBM Creamer as a media planner and became a media supervisor. The agency was then involved in a series of mergers, first with Della Femina & Partners, then with Messner Vetere Berger Carey Schmetterer. Then Havas bought the media departments to create MPG.
“I could write a book on how to survive mergers,” she said “I survived three mergers and did very well each time and just kept progressing.”
Ms. Kantrowitz grew up in Plainview on New York’s Long Island and majored in communications and sociology at the State University of New York at Albany.
Now she lives with her husband and 11-year-old son in New Jersey. She says she likes to hike and shop. “My favorite thing is to walk around the city and window shop and walk in and out of stores,” she said. “My husband and I like to spend a lot of time in the city when we can.”
Who Knew: Growing up, Ms. Kantrowitz thought it would be really cool to be a private detective or an FBI agent. She didn’t pursue it, but has a friend who is in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Every now and then they have to do a security check on her,” she said. “I was so excited once because an FBI agent was going to call me. I asked if he could come to the office.”

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