Omnicom announces Zulu network closure

LONDON - Omnicom has decided to scrap its Zulu network, and is to split Claydon Heeley from Agency Republic, bringing to an end a seven-year relationship between the agencies.

Gordon...Targetbase chief
Gordon...Targetbase chief
Claydon Heeley is to merge with the Omnicom-owned US data agency Targetbase. Chris Gordon, the former
global chairman of Rapp Collins, has been appointed to head the new operation as the chief executive of Targetbase International.

The agency is not planning to hire a replacement for Mike Welsh, the former managing director, who left last week to join Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel.

Although Claydon Heeley will continue to trade under its original name, it is expected to completely rebrand by the end of the year.

Gordon said: “We’re not rushing at any brand change, although we will be looking at our branding. Targetbase has a strong reputation in the US, so the plan is to use its technology and analytics in order to support the business over here.”

The Zulu chief executive, David Eastman, will continue as the chief executive of a new group, called Republic Family, that will include the interactive agency Weapon 7 and the technology outfit Code, alongside Agency Republic.

The Kitchen, Zulu’s sales promotion agency, will split from the group and will operate as a standalone agency,
reporting to Eastman.

Omnicom created the Zulu Network in October 2005 in order to bring Agency Republic and Claydon Heeley closer together, and to put a digital focus on the below-the-line output of its agencies.

However, the Zulu name never made a big enough impact on the market, and, other than Mercedes, the group has failed to pick up significant pieces of integrated business.