Marketing Drive to link up with Bozell network

Bozell Worldwide has struck its long awaited deal with the integrated agency, Marketing Drive. The companies have been in talks for 18 months.

Bozell Worldwide has struck its long awaited deal with the

integrated agency, Marketing Drive. The companies have been in talks for

18 months.



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.



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