Bozell Worldwide has struck its long awaited deal with the
integrated agency, Marketing Drive. The companies have been in talks for
Bozell - which is buying an initial stake in Marketing Drive, rising to
a full acquisition over five years - plans to expand Marketing Drive
outside its clutch of marketing services and speciality advertising
interests, the Diversified Companies Group.
The move gives Marketing Drive, one of the last and most successful
independent through-the-line agencies in the UK, a global partner for
expansion. It will continue to operate independently but with access to
Bozell’s 54-country network. Bozell’s direct operation in London, Bozell
Marketing Services, will merge with Marketing Drive, bringing the
Commercial Union account with it.
David Bell, the chairman of Bozell Worldwide, and Paul Slaymaker, its
executive vice-president, will sit on the Marketing Drive shareholder
board. Bell, who is responsible for a clutch of purchases aimed at
broadening Bozell’s offering beyond traditional advertising, said:
’Marketing Drive will not necessarily open offices, but will work
through ours, or us through them, where we have client needs. This is an
opportunity for the two brands to come together outside the UK.’
He added: ’Bozell has a media neutral philosophy and Marketing Drive is
a media neutral brand. We are both solutions providers.’ The companies
have already collaborated on the successful pitch for Bausch & Lomb, and
on Chrysler brand development in Europe.
Marketing Drive, formed ten years ago by the chairman, Mark Timbrell,
and the managing director, Clive Mishon, has 65 staff, reported pre-tax
profits of pounds 496,601 and gross income of pounds 2.6 million in
1996. Clients include Abbey National, Guinness Brewing Worldwide, KP
Foods, McVitie’s, Total Oil in the UK and South Africa, the Financial
Times and Ultrafem.
The agency operates in sales promotion, direct marketing and advertising
and consultancy through multi-discipline account teams.
Timbrell said Marketing Drive was wooed by a number of suitors before
Bozell. ’Bozell has an ambition to be a serious, global media neutral
player. We found a like-minded visionary in David Bell,’ he added.