Direct marketing has traditionally been tackled on a
country-by-country basis, but this looks set to change as many players
gear themselves up for global accounts.
Full service agency Brann recently acquired French agency Communider and
has plans to move into Germany, Italy and Spain by the end of this year.
This growth is being aided by parent company, the Havas Group.
'There is definitely a trend towards more and bigger international
clients. To be really competitive you've got to be able to offer global
reach,' said John Shaw, MD of Brann Worldwide European agencies. Brann
has also created European business development director roles to service
its international clients.
Malcolm Speed, CEO of Rapp Collins Worldwide, points out that clients
are now considering above and below the line more holistically in an
overall marketing portfolio, 'direct is a global option for the first
Most industry commentators agree that improved technology is driving
this DM globalisation. 'More technological know-how exists in many more
countries than it previously did,' said Phil Bourne, managing director
of KLP Euro RSCG, an established global network.
But despite this, Chris Barraclough, chairman of BHWG Proximity,
maintained that taking DM campaigns global will prove a complex task
because of the amount of copy involved and the need to recognise
different local cultures.
There is also a feeling that creativity and accuracy could be under
threat in a globalised marketplace. Shaw asserted that there's a
trade-off involved in global DM executions. 'The more you centralise the
budget and the work, the more savings you make and economies of scale
you make - but you do miss out on localisation.'
Shaw, Barraclough and Bourne were united in their belief that
globalisation is bad news for independent agencies. It is a view that is
strongly contested by Oxfordshire-based independent JJ Marketing which
has just picked up a pan-European account for Gillette.
The agency's task is to review all databases and is the first time
Gillette has embarked on a pan-European project of this kind.
Paul Fox, director of communications at Gillette, said that the fact
that JJ Marketing is independent was not a factor in its
He stressed the importance of tailoring campaigns to local markets: 'We
would always build localisation into the process and develop a number of
Speed summed up the mood of global clients: 'There is a strong feeling
now that a brand's global image is its biggest asset. While there's
always going to be local modification of specific projects, global
direct has to be an option. The largest companies are insisting on it
and selecting their partners accordingly.'