BLM Media restructure creates planning unit

Paul van Barthold has finished the restructure of BLM Media with

the creation of a new research and account planning unit called Business


Headed by the planning director, Graham Hawkey-Smith, Business Planning

has been created to deliver business-led communications solutions for

clients. The unit will work closely with BLM's recently established

creative unit, Flint, on a number of full-service projects.

Van Barthold said: "Business Planning is a blend of research, media and

account planning services. We are now a full-service media company.

Agencies often forget that advertising is a business investment from

which advertisers expect to make a profitable return.

"Most advertisers either under- or over-invest in advertising because

their agencies focus on developing a consumer-led communication model

and not the underlying business model."

Hawkey-Smith said BLM's existing clients have begun to use Business

Planning. "Thomas Cook has already given us a project which is much more

to do with trading than with traditional media." Blockbuster

Entertainment and the Paramount Comedy Channel have also been working

with the new planning unit.

BLM's standalone planning and consultancy division, Leap Communications,

will remain a separate trading company, but part of its remit will be

merged into Business Planning. Matthew Pitt, who was recruited from

Ammirati Puris Lintas to head Leap, is leaving the company.

The addition of Business Planning, which is a separate division of BLM

rather than a subsidiary company, completes the agency's group of


In addition to its existing new-media arm, Quantum, the company last

year added Leap, as well as a joint-venture creative and media unit

called @the Hub. It also launched a creative subsidiary called Flint,

headed by the former Cold Eye creative partners, Phillip Bird and Stuart