MindShare, the new WPP joint venture media company, claims it will
be the world’s first truly global media brand.
The agency, which opens it doors in the UK in the first quarter of 1998,
will roll out to other European markets, Asia Pacific and Latin America
during the year. In the US, the existing media coalition between JWT and
Ogilvy & Mather, called The Alliance, is to rebrand.
In Europe, JWT’s volume media buying agreement with Omnicom, known as
The Media Partnership, will wind down as MindShare grows.
MindShare claims it will be one of a new generation of media
specialists, offering not only traditional media, but also interactive
media, sponsorship, event management, barter, programming and
It will develop proprietary media research as well as working with WPP
Group companies such as The Henley Centre.
According to its chief operating officer, Dominic Proctor, MindShare
could become the world’s biggest media company. It will have global
billings of pounds 9bn, of which nearly pounds 400m are UK billings.
In the UK the merger throws up few serious client clashes, with the
possible exception of Guinness and Bulmers.
Initially, MindShare will concentrate on bedding down key clients such
as Guinness, Kellogg and IBM. But if it is to expand its business
significantly it must also pull in third-party media business.
High on its hit list will be the media accounts for clients that are
already serviced creatively by O&M and JWT. These include Kraft Jacobs
Suchard, which spends pounds 24m and is currently at Zenith Media;
Unilever, which spends pounds 200m through Initiative Media; and
Barclays, which spends pounds 25m at MediaVest. Within two years,
insiders say the ratio of third-party to referred business should reach
Proctor said: ’My brief from Martin Sorrell (WPP Group’s chief
executive), is to build a global media brand. Our core strategy will be
to look at media in a much broader way. We don’t want to follow a
conventional pattern, but offer clients a bespoke service.’