Ad Agency Launches Online Radio Station

Wieden + Kennedy, the Portland, Ore. based advertising agency, this week launched it's own online radio station, W+K Radio (

WK, whose clients include brands such as Nike and Electronic Arts, plans to play an eclectic mix of music and interviews with bands. WK, like many ad agencies, often has bands come by their offices and play short sets. Segments so far have included "Employee Playlist," an interview with the band The Stolen Sweets, and "WK Jukebox" which highlights music from different genres. WK uses to broadcast the station.

While much of the content originates with the Portland headquarters, WK plans to have the six other offices scattered around the world contribute programming.

"Knowing that musicians and labels are looking to get more out of us [the ad industry] we saw it as a way of getting more out of them," said Mark Fitzloff, executive creative director, WK Portland. "What we don't want it to become is thinly veiled PR for the agency or a way for our clients to get free media," said Fitzloff.

That doesn't mean that music people at the various brands the agency works for won't be asked to appear on the station. "These guys would be fired up if we had the key music person at Nike come on and talk about music."

This is not the agency's first foray into the music world. WK Tokyo started a record label in 2003 called W+K Tokyo Lab Studio. "I can't give you a simple business value of having a radio station. It has a lot of soft value and it brings us together," said Fitzloff. "I don't think that advertising has done a good job of connecting with the artist community. We wanted to change that."

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