Y&R merges its worldwide media

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.

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

disciplines.



’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

scrutiny.



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

investments.’



Media Perspective, p24.



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