Young & Rubicam is to merge all its worldwide media services under
a single banner, the Media Edge, forming a new dollars 9 billion
international media network.
This represents Y&R’s first major initiative since its partial flotation
earlier this year.
The Media Edge is the name of Y&R’s existing US media specialist,
launched in mid-1997. The brand will now be exported globally and
incorporate media for all Y&R group companies.
This will encompass all media planning and buying for the Y&R agency and
direct marketing specialist, Wunderman Cato Johnson, and include media
for clients such as Ford, AT&T and DuPont.
Paul Woolmington, Y&R’s chief media officer, will head the new operation
as president of the Media Edge.
According to Woolmington, the idea behind the network is to fuse the
media function from across a range of different Y&R group
’All the group’s media interests will be centralised under the Media
Edge name,’ Woolmington explained.
’This is not an advertising game, it’s a broad communications game.’
Media staff from the Y&R group companies will now move into offices
branded Media Edge throughout the world.
The new company will initially operate in five major regional centres -
New York, London, Singapore, Miami and Sidney - and will be
headquartered in New York.
The aim is to have the Media Edge up and running in all countries in
which Y&R does business by the end of 1999.
It will employ a team of 2,000 staff worldwide and operate as a company
independent of the creative agency from the beginning of 1999.
In the UK the initiative will see the rebranding of Y&R’s in-house media
planning function, though staff and structure will remain intact.
Across Europe, however, Y&R’s relationship with Havas through the joint
venture media operation, Mediapolis, will come under increasing
Woolmington described Mediapolis as ’a tactical alliance in those
markets where it is appropriate’ and said that, for the time being, the
five Mediapolis offices would still handle Y&R business.
However, when Mediapolis contracts come up for renewal around Europe,
Y&R could look for alternative partners where it is not a big enough
player on its own.
Woolmington said: ’We have a mergers and acquisitions strategy and will
be looking at how best to leverage our position through new
Media Perspective, p24.