Martin Sorrell’s WPP group is to create a fourth global network,
uniting agencies in Europe, the US and the Far East, to exploit
opportunities opening up in the middle ground as the communications
The new network, to be unveiled in the autumn, will align the 14
Conquest offices in Europe with Batey Advertising in Singapore and the
Seattle agency Cole & Weber.
In contrast to WPP’s other giant agency groups - J. Walter Thompson,
Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam - it will look to recruit more
modest-spending international advertisers with billings between dollars
40 million and dollars 100 million.
It will be a global extension of Conquest’s tactic of pursuing so-called
’challenger brands’ that are not only growing their businesses
domestically but also beyond their home markets.
Alfa Romeo, Conquest’s founding client in 1988, which has seen its
international sales triple to 300,000 in the past three years, will be
one of the network’s core accounts along with Iveco trucks, Aventis, the
drug and crop-protection products company, and Zegna, the luxury goods
The network, which is likely to launch under a new name, is expected to
have a presence on the US east and west coasts but will not build a
comprehensive network of offices, preferring to rely on centrally
produced work and new communications technology.
Luca Lindner, Conquest’s Italian chief executive, declined to disclose
detailed plans or the identity of the network partners but confirmed
Conquest’s intention to go global.
’In the past year, we’ve been denied business by five European and US
clients billing a total of dollars 200 million because we didn’t have a
global network,’ he said. ’I’m determined that will not happen
Batey, in which WPP has a 30 per cent stake with an option to move to
majority control by November 2002, is the lead worldwide agency for
Singapore Airlines. Cole & Weber recently lost the dollars 30 million
global business for Boeing, an account it had held for 30 years, to