Motive to merge with Leo Burnett

Leo Burnett’s media department and Motive are to merge into a single media brand in the UK within the next few months, following Burnetts’ acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Motive’s parent, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, at the end of last year.

Leo Burnett’s media department and Motive are to merge into a

single media brand in the UK within the next few months, following

Burnetts’ acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Motive’s parent, Bartle

Bogle Hegarty, at the end of last year.



The new operation, likely to go under the Motive banner, will be headed

by the BBH media dependant’s chief executive, Mark Cranmer, and will

pool staff and resources.



While the two parties are insisting that no decision has yet been made,

talks are already underway about the nature and location of the new

company, and clients are being canvassed.



Cranmer would not confirm the plans, saying ’anything’s possible’. He

added: ’Nothing’s at any advanced stage, but we have made an absolute

commitment to work together forever.’



Plans to take Burnetts’ media out of house follow the creation of a

Burnetts media operation in the US and Australia, called Starcom. Jeff

Fergus, the chairman of Burnetts in London, said any separate Burnetts

media operation in the UK would not necessarily use the Starcom name,

fuelling reports that Motive will become the joint BBH/Burnetts media

brand.



A statement from the two agencies issued this week confirmed that in

future, international media development of BBH’s business will be driven

through the Burnetts network where appropriate. The Motive name will

operate in other markets as a media planning operation, with media

buying via the local Burnetts media team.



However, the statement acknowledges the uniqueness of the UK market,

where both Motive and Burnetts’ media department have developed business

independent of their creative partners.



Cranmer said there would be no reason for either media operation to pool

media buying volume, because neither agency does deals with media

owners.



All deals were on a client-by-client basis, he said.



Cranmer said the priorities for the two media operations were to win the

international media business for Tag Heuer and Levi’s jeans. The Levi’s

pitch takes place later this month. An announcement on the UK media

operations will not come before then.



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