It is rumoured that several of the big communications groups have
shown more than a passing interest in the Added Value Group. With a list
of clients which spans the likes of Unilever, Levi’s and Coca Cola and
an annual fee income of around pounds 30 million, perhaps that’s not so
What is surprising is that Added Value decided to sell to the media
company, Tempus, a predominantly European media group with a track
record which barely goes beyond the business of planning and buying
spots and space.
But unlike the recent spate of mega mergers, the reasoning behind last
week’s tie-up is not one of volume but one of influence. Added Value
works with its clients at the top end of brand management, while
Tempus’s CIA Medianetwork, like most media companies, generally comes in
at the bottom of the marketing food chain.
The argument goes that as media becomes more fragmented and reaching the
right consumers more complicated, media needs to come a little higher up
the decision-making process.
What Added Value potentially gives Tempus is an invitation to the chief
executive’s office, a seat at the table and the ability to offer a
coherent service from strategic marketing advice through to the
implementation of the brand communication. Actually delivering on this
promise is a major challenge and some might argue that Tempus should get
the basics of its media operation right before it aspires beyond its
core business. But as a strategy for growth which also has some true
relevance to the way clients work, the Added Value deal gives Tempus a
USP in an increasingly amorphous communications marketplace.
As such it establishes a new model for the communications agency of the
future and lays down a challenge to media agencies which talk about
offering strategic advice but whose specialism extends no further than
the business of media.