WPP group sets up its fourth global network

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 world polarises.

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

world polarises.



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

brand.



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

again.’



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

McCann-Erickson.



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