BCom3, the holding company of the merged Leo Burnett and MacManus Group, is merging all its media operations under a new holding company, called Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG).
Starcom and MediaVest will remain separate in the UK, the US, Brazil and Puerto Rico. But a team headed by SMG chief executive officer Jack Klues will analyse all other markets by January 2001 to decide where the two operations should be centralised under the Starcom name. SMG will handle combined global billings of $16bn (&£10bn).
Starcom operates in 75 countries, MediaVest in nine, and there are 66 where D’Arcy runs in-house media operations. SMG will run Starcom, MediaVest, Starlink (for smaller agencies) and Starcom IP (new media).
Starcom Motive European head Mark Cranmer is to become chief executive of SMG Europe, Middle East and Africa. As a result, MediaVest’s European president Adrian Birchall has been left without a role. Jim Marshall, who remains chief executive of MediaVest in the UK, will report to Cranmer.
The move to combine the media operations contrasts with statements made when the ad agency merger was first announced last November. Roger Haupt, chief executive of BCom3, in which Dentsu has a 20 per cent stake, told Marketing Week (MW November 11): “You might hear some day that we have merged media in Morocco… I have to look at this merger and ask myself what the best way is to build our business, and it isn’t to smash the two together.”