N W Ayer & Partners, the New-York based advertising agency network which is part of The MacManus Group, is courting a number of independent advertising agencies in the UK.
N W Ayer has no European presence, and is known to be plotting overseas expansion. The efforts to build its international capabilities are being personally driven by N W Ayer worldwide president Mary Lou Quinlan. Last year, the company appointed ex-DMB&B executive Julian Boulding as president of its fledgling international division.
The goal would be to develop Ayer as a second string international network alongside sister MacManus agency DMB&B.
Boulding confirmed that Ayer had approached six agencies in recent weeks.
“We do not have a firm policy as to whether we would buy an existing agency 100 per cent, or take a majority or minority stake.”
He says a deal will “definitely” be struck this year. Ayer’s clients in the US include Procter & Gamble and General Motors.
Two of its clients – Continental Airlines and a white goods manufacturer called KitchenAid – want servicing in European markets, indicating the KitchenAid brand may ultimately be launched in the UK.
Last year, Ayer confirmed it would pursue a “hub” strategy of opening single offices to serve multiple countries rather than establishing a large number of offices in each region.
Boulding says the agency is also looking at establishing a presence in France and Germany.