McCanns’ recent takeover of Barnett Fletcher Promotions has the
declared aim of making the UK company a launch pad for a European
network of ’experiential’ agencies - specialists in event marketing and
Tracy Lovatt has been moved in by McCanns as MD. Chairman Barnett
Fletcher says: ’Our task now is to replicate what we do in 30 countries
A similar motive lay behind the merger earlier in the year of field
marketing specialist FMCG with Canadian-based below-the-line group
Meanwhile, Tequila Option One, part of the GGT/BDDP group, is opening
overseas offices at a phenomenal rate on the back of existing overseas
ad agencies. It has 12 overseas branches and plans to open eight more in
the coming year.
Being able to offer a global, or at least a European, capability is
clearly on the agenda again. And, obviously, agencies don’t make this
kind of commitment without a belief that it is what clients want. In
Tequila’s case, as business development manager William Corke
acknowledges, the expansion has been driven by the requirements of one
of its top clients, Rothman.
What’s interesting, however, is the view that clients’ reasons for
looking at sales promotion internationally are changing. John Quarrey,
chief executive of IMP, which works for Coca-Cola and Phillips, argues
that five years ago the motivation was saving money: ’Now it’s about how
can they have consistently good ideas.’
’Sales promotion is no longer a thing for the junior brand manager to
play with,’ says Jon Claydon, a founding director of Claydon Heeley.
’Clients who have reduced their European ad agency roster to three are
asking themselves why they need 62 below-the-line agencies.
’It can be desperately complicated. Pan-European advertising is
difficult enough, but in our field there are not only cultural
questions, but very different legal requirements across the
Quarrey claims that his agency is being approached by growing numbers of
companies keen to investigate how to deliver below-the-line programmes
across Europe. The IMP network ’is invaluable in delivering this,
because no matter how good you are in coming up with great ideas, it is
still pretty difficult to understand what someone in Moldova thinks,
versus someone in Spain.’
WPP subsidiary Promotional Campaigns is the other SP consultancy with a
major international network, thanks to its group links with Ogilvy &
Apart from offices under its own name in most of the major European
countries, plus Hong Kong and Australia, it is formalising its
affiliation with Einson Freeman in the US. This is another WPP offshoot,
with which it successfully pitched for the IBM account.
KLP also reports a growing client interest in international
It has developed the Ballantine Urban High programme for Allied Domecq
across Europe and the Far East, and has also been appointed recently to
work for Coca-Cola in Brazil.
’We had previously worked in Brazil, and we were asked to pitch against
the incumbent, plus some US competition,’ says chairman Iain
’So now we have KLP people working in Brazil, in the Coca-Cola
Similarly, The Marketing Store’s first European toehold is in General
Motors’ Swiss office. But with demand growing ’by the day’, chairman
Graham Kemp says it is ’only a question of time’ before he expands
Promotional Campaigns’ managing director Debbie Smith confirms that
there is renewed client interest in international networks. But she says
that a lot of it is coming either out of communications or trade and
business-to-business budgets, rather than consumer promotions, because
of the legal complexities. One exception to this is the spin-off from
global sponsorships, such as IBM’s involvement with the Olympics.