CLOSE-UP: GLOBAL BRIEF; Living with no global network

Michele Martin reports on the team running Leagas Delaney’s worldwide work

Michele Martin reports on the team running Leagas Delaney’s worldwide

work



It’s a dilemma that still only faces a smattering of shops. But as

clients seem increasingly willing to hand international business to

single agencies, the question remains: ‘How do you run such accounts

without a network?’



Leagas Delaney believes it has come up with an answer for its global

client, Adidas. In the US, it has set up a separate agency to handle the

nine-months-old account (Campaign, 17 February). But in Europe it has

done the opposite, abandoning its loose affiliation with agencies such

as CLM/BBDO in Paris and Germany’s Jung von Matt in favour of a

centralised account team of foreign nationals based in London.



Andrea Carbonara completed the line-up just a month ago from CME KHBB in

Turin and has been given control of Adidas in Europe’s Latin countries.

Three months earlier, Axel Pfennigschmidt, a German, joined from Select

Corporate Communications in New York to look after Germany, Switzerland

and Eastern Europe. Other foreign nationals arriving in the last year

include Agathe Decronumbourg from Dassas Publicite in France and Roger

Ruegger from Lacher-Dumas in Switzerland. Colin Clarke, who oversees the

UK, Holland and Scandinavia, and the board account director, Tim Little,

are the only senior Brits at the helm.



A multilingual account team running international business from London

without local affiliations is not in itself unusual - Bartle Bogle

Hegarty, for example, acts similarly on some accounts. But the

difference is in the role Leagas Delaney intends its account directors

to play.



The reorganisation emphasises the creative role of account handling,

with each director expected to use his knowledge as a foreign national

much as a planner might, writing creative briefs and advising on

translations. Little explains: ‘This ensures that a client understands

why the creative should work in his country and helps us understand what

different influences are at play.’



On-the-spot client servicing will be pared down to a minimum but new e-

mail, Apple ISDN lines and video-conferencing will enhance links with

the agency. ‘People would rather talk to someone who can go upstairs and

talk to Tim Delaney than an intermediary agency,’ Little says.



And he believes the system is such a good way of protecting an

international idea from local agency politics that it could be

instigated by networks. He says: ‘Any agency will tell you it argues

more within its own network than it ever does with the client.’



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