ZenithOptimedia switches focus to maximising returns

LONDON - ZenithOptimedia is to be significantly repositioned as 'the ROI agency' as its newly installed chief executive, Antony Young, changes the agency's focus to providing 'return on investment' for clients.

Young and his senior management team at the recently merged agency plan to use the "ROI" positioning to build on Zenith's buying heritage.

Young said: "We don't want to go down the route of claiming to be the most creative planning-led media agency in the UK. Zenith has always had the heritage of delivering hard numbers, and I want this to be about delivering more meaningful numbers that help clients drive their business."

Plans for ZenithOptimedia involve moving away from obtaining value for money for clients on buying services toward identifying products, markets and media channels that will provide the best returns.

Young also wants planners and buyers to focus more on delivering outcomes directly related to sales or shifting consumer perception, rather than thinking in terms of reach, frequency or media plans.

The repositioning follows a tough year for Zenith in 2002 that saw it slip to third in the UK billings league behind MediaCom and Carat. However, Young hopes the assimilation of planning talent from Optimedia, coupled with its direct marketing unit, Zed, and its strategic consultancy, Ninah, will help it to move upstream with clients in providing greater accountability and analysis of their marketing activity.

Young, who arrived at ZenithOptimedia UK a month ago from the company's Asia-Pacific operation, said: "There is a real willingness among people here to change things, which will be helped by being a new company with a clear brand proposition. I was quite surprised and impressed by people because last year wasn't the best."

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