IBM's consolidation drive prompts shift from Havas to WPP

IBM has dropped Havas Advertising's US agency, Brann Worldwide,

from its direct marketing business in a move that sees the company

consolidating its global direct and interactive marketing strategies

through WPP.

The client has pooled its business into the New York offices of WPP

Group's OgilvyOne and Wunderman. Under the new model, which goes into

effect at the start of 2002, IBM will work with the two strategic agency

partners on all aspects of direct and interactive marketing

communications, from online banner advertisements to direct mail


OgilvyOne already adapts the US work for the UK market, as well as

producing some original work. The centralisation is expected to see a

rise in output from the UK office.

IBM interactive shops remain unchanged as the New York offices of R/GA,

Modem Media, Answerthink and WPP's Ogilvy Interactive all continue to

work with IBM on

American advertising industry observers have cited IBM's move as one

that is concerned with more than simple cost cutting.

The move to put both direct and interactive assignments into OgilvyOne

and Wunderman has been held up as an illustration of a growing trend

among agencies and clients for digital marketing to be developed

hand-in-hand with direct marketing.

"The move to this new agency model reflects IBM's response to shifts in

the business environment," Maureen McGuire, IBM's vice-president of

worldwide integrated marketing communications, said. "Interactive

marketing is no longer a standalone discipline. It is an integral

component of direct marketing."