Martin Sorrell's WPP is setting up a fourth global network to target "challenger" brands under the name Red Cell.
All 14 offices of the group's Conquest European operation will be rebranded as Red Cell and the name will also be incorporated into Singapore's Batey agency, Cole & Weber in Seattle and Perspectives, the UK integrated marketing communications company which will make up the network.
The new operation, which will focus on ambitious but modest-spending brands eager to expand beyond their national borders, will have 1,000 staff and claimed bilings of more than $1 billion. Its clients will include Alfa Romeo cars, Iveco trucks and Singapore Airlines.
The network's major selling point will be its so-called "eclectic network" of consultants - among them Sir Bob Geldof as well as academics, film-makers and doctors - whose expertise will be exploited to help crack marketing and advertising problems.
Announcing the network at a reception at a London hotel last night, Sorrell claimed that the polarisation of the ad industry had created major opportunities in the middle ground, particularly in IT, telecoms, financial services, healthcare and the retail sectors.
Luca Lindner, the Conquest chief executive will be CEO of Red Cell, claimed it would be able to produce global campaigns in half the time taken by conventional networks.