NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The goal of expanding Maxus' global presence and making it a full-size international agency network comparable to its siblings under WPP's Group M umbrella got under way today with the announcement that London-based BJK&E would be re-branded as Maxus and become its U.K. headquarters, effective Jan. 1.
In a statement, Kelly Clark, who was named the first global CEO of the Maxus network in October, said that while the U.K. was the first new market to join the network since his taking over, it certainly wouldn't be the last, and that new offices in other European markets would be joining the Maxus network in the coming year. A spokesman for Group M said it could not discuss the details of where some of those locations may be and that there would be no layoffs at BJK&E as part of the re-branding.
The move falls in line with what Mr. Clark, formerly CEO of Group M Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Ad Age back in October shortly after being named to his post. "A big geographic priority for us is to strengthen our business in the larger and more developed markets in Western Europe, and in the U.S., where we think there's a terrific growth opportunity."
U.K. a crucial market
In his statement today, Mr. Clark said: "To achieve our growth plans, it's absolutely essential for us to establish a strong beachhead in the U.K." He added: "The U.K. is a crucially important market, and BJK&E can help us deliver our vision there."
James Jennings and Tim Irwin, BJK&E's current managing directors, will continue to run the agency, and its management structure will remain intact as well. BJK&E, acquired by WPP in 2001, was launched as a joint-venture media company between Tempus and Bozell back in 1992.
BJK&E's current roster of 30-plus clients includes Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler Group, Seiko, Palm, Marie, Triumph/Sloggi and Betfair. And new-business wins within the last 18 months include Ubisoft, Eurosport, Church & Dwight and British Motor Show.