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Strijdveen Takes Creative Route to L.A.

Jan 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Marc Strijdveen got quite a welcome when he moved his family from Amsterdam to Southern California to become senior VP and director of creative media solutions at Horizon Media. The house he rented in Malibu was evacuated twice soon after he arrived because of the recent wildfires.
Mr. Strijdveeen’s journey to the U.S. began in 2000. He’d been working in the Media Concepts department of the Amsterdam office of BBDO when it was merged with other Omnicom agencies to become OMD.
“It really felt like there was a real strong focus on the buying side, and less on the thinking side. I was much more on the thinking side than on the buying side,” he said.
He and his wife, who is from Vancouver, took a trip to North America and he arranged meetings with a number of people in the advertising business. One was Bill Koenigsberg, founder and CEO of Horizon Media.
They talked about the business in both the U.S. and Europe.
“I had an instant click with the man,” Mr. Strijdveen recalled.
Mr. Koenigsberg showed him around the agency and introduced him to other executives. At the end of the visit, Mr. Koenigsberg said he was thinking about starting a business in Europe and asked Mr. Strijdveen to come up with a business plan.
The plan was accepted, and Mr. Strijdveen set up Eurizon in Amsterdam.
“From day one we positioned ourselves as a strategic media communications company with buying capabilities,” he said.
Now he’s bringing creative media solutions to the U.S.
“The old certainties are losing relevance,” he said.
Mr. Strijdveen is based in Horizon’s Los Angeles office, but he’ll be reporting to Oliver Maletz, senior VP and managing director of Horizon’s insights group in New York.
“We thought it would be good and smart to have somebody on the West Coast,” he said.
Mr. Strijdveen grew up about an hour from Amsterdam. At 16, he had his first encounter with the world of advertising through a summer job with a small agency, Danko Advertising. After finishing his education at the Higher Business School for Communications & Media, he joined Danko full-time. He worked at a few other midsized agencies before joining BBDO.
After work, Mr. Strijdveen spends most of his time with his two sons, ages 5 and 3. “We do typical boy things,” he said, such as watching hockey, which isn’t a big sport in Holland. The boys also are experiencing baseball and basketball.
Mr. Strijdveen and his wife are taking in California’s outdoor life, enjoying the fact that he can go from the beaches of Santa Monica to snowboarding in the mountains. And he’s looking to see more of the U.S. “I haven’t even been to Las Vegas yet,” he said. “There’s so much to explore.”
Who knew: Mr. Strijdveen says he loves food, but can’t cook. “My wife is a great cook. I’m into a lot of things, butt that’s something where I don’t have the skills.” He’s tried to cook, but his dishes turn into disasters. And he’s spoiled because his wife is a wonderful cook. Despite that, “I’m a great help in the kitchen,” he says. “I can do the dishes.”

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