DIRECT NEWS: Carlson reorganises into three units

Carlson, the below-the-line agency group, is poised for a restructure which is likely to culminate in the creation of three separate brands servicing direct marketing, customer loyalty and sales promotion.

Carlson, the below-the-line agency group, is poised for a

restructure which is likely to culminate in the creation of three

separate brands servicing direct marketing, customer loyalty and sales

promotion.



It is expected that Smith Bundy Carlson - the agency formed by Carlson’s

acquisition of the mail order and fundraising specialist, Smith Bundy,

in November 1996 - will take the lead on the direct marketing portion of

Carlson’s business.



Alongside the proposed standalone customer loyalty business, a third arm

- a sales promotion unit tentatively entitled Carlson 11 - has been

suggested.



Carlson’s joint chief executive, Steve Cook, would not confirm the plans

were finalised, but admitted that they were being considered and staff

have been informed of the changes.



There are currently five distinct brands which make up Carlson’s group

of agencies. They are Carlson Marketing Group Europe; Carlson; Smith

Bundy Carlson; the internal marketing agency, Aegis; and the design

shop, BBM Carlson.



Cook explained: ’There is enormous equity behind Carlson’s name; we now

have to consider whether names such as BBM and Aegis carry the same

amount of equity. If I were a betting man, I may well wager that these

names could be dropped.’



The move appears to unravel the unified structure that was put in place

in May 1996, when three agencies, MHA Carlson, FKB Carlson and Carlson

Loyalty Marketing, merged under the main Carlson umbrella.



Cook added that Carlson was also seeking acquisitions ’that complement

what we already have in place. We will definitely be doing some

interesting things in mainland Europe this year.’



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