Leo Burnett’s media department has carried out a major staff
reshuffle in preparation for its launch as a standalone media brand,
StarCom, at the beginning of April.
The agency has promoted its TV buying director, Matthew Blackborn, to
the new position of head of negotiations, overseeing Burnett’s deals
across all media.
At the same time, Burnett is losing its broadcast director, Andy
Zonfrillo, to MindShare, where he will take over as TV buying director
working alongside the agency’s newly appointed TV planning director,
Burnett is now hunting for a top-level broadcast director to replace
Zonfrillo and raise the profile of its television trading capabilities
as it prepares to compete as a standalone brand.
Burnett’s joint media directors, David Connolly and Richard Beaven, will
take over as joint chiefs of the new operation.
The Burnett media people are regrouping into a single unit and
relocating within the Burnett building in Sloane Avenue, London, taking
over their own floor, which will be rebranded as StarCom.
The agency is also looking for a marketing director to help position the
StarCom brand in the market and launch a new -business effort.
StarCom will launch with billings of pounds 145 million and a place just
outside the top 15 in the media league table. Its main clients include
Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s and United Biscuits.
The agency was originally to launch as a merged operation with MediaVest
as part of a global alliance with MediaVest’s parent, MacManus. Talks
between the two parties broke down last autumn.
Since then, Leo Burnett has held talks with Tempus, which owns CIA
Medianetwork, although there are believed to be some cultural
differences between the two companies. However, such a marriage has not
yet been ruled out.