Media Solutions, the Tempus-owned media independent, is to merge
with its sister agency, CIA Medianetwork, in a restructuring designed to
strengthen the ailing CIA agency and streamline Tempus’s UK assets.
Media Solutions is likely to be rolled into CIA before the end of the
year, taking its clients and staff with it to boost CIA’s billings and
The agency has a client list including Nationwide, Blockbuster and
Cussons and billings of about pounds 50 million, which will provide an
injection of volume into CIA’s depleted client portfolio.
At the same time, the merger will allow Media Solutions’ clients to take
more advantage of CIA’s products and services in areas such as new
media, research and strategy.
News of the deal emerged after Media Solutions’ plans to move into new
offices were put on hold. It is understood that the agency was about to
sign a lease on a new building but was told by CIA bosses that the
company would be moving into CIA’s Paris Garden headquarters.
Tempus acquired Media Solutions outright in July this year - buying out
the 49 per cent owned by BDDP GGT - but had originally intended for it
to operate as an independent second-string agency.
Since then, however, the main CIA brand has lost a number of key
accounts - including Somerfield and Lloyds/TSB - and is restructuring to
streamline and reposition the agency.
Tempus is understood to be keen to simplify its UK group structure under
a leaner and more efficient set-up. The company had previously pursued a
strategy of joint ventures to broaden its presence in the media
Another CIA sister brand, the Negotiation Centre, was rolled into CIA
earlier this month, and the Media Solutions move represents the second
phase of the streamlining process.
Mainardo de Nardis, the chairman and chief executive of CIA, would not
comment on the merger of Media Solutions and CIA.