Leo Burnett is adding to its growing network of marketing
communications agencies by launching an integrated arm, and has poached
two leading industry players to head it.
Gary Sharpen, Saatchi & Saatchi’s creative director, integration, and
Mark Piper, a planning partner at HHCL & Partners, have been signed as
creative partner and strategic partner respectively of the new agency,
which is to be called Leonardo.
Leonardo will pull together Burnett’s existing below- and
through-the-line capabilities. Staff from the main agency working in
these areas for clients such as Kellogg’s and McDonald’s will move into
Leonardo. Independent business will also be sought.
’We are not doing anything as mundane as launching Leo Direct, we are
launching a new model of agency for the new marketing world,’ Nick
Brien, chief executive of Burnett and the project’s architect, said.
’Our aim is to provide demand-creating solutions using direct marketing,
design, PR, logistics engineers and a very strong emphasis on digital.
Both Gary and Mark have always focused on getting the most progressive
outcome for their clients and have contributed vastly to the vision and
idea behind Leonardo.’
A third managing partner is being sought, and the agency will launch
officially once they are on-board.
Before Sharpen’s eight years at Saatchis, he spent five years at Ogilvy
& Mather working largely on above-the-line business, but developing
promotional and direct work for Ford and Guinness, among others. He
said: ’The exciting thing about Leonardo is that we will be redefining
the creative idea and starting from an earlier stage in the whole
Piper, who worked on the launch of Egg and Go during his six years at
HHCL, added: ’We are purpose-building for the new market, which includes
a heavy investment in digital.’