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Bloomberg Seeks Agency for Global Branding

New Owner of BusinessWeek Looks to Raise Awareness of Media Properties Beyond Terminals

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- As it gets ready to officially take ownership of BusinessWeek magazine, Bloomberg is looking for help with global branding and advertising across its portfolio of media properties.

In a request for information sent out to agencies, Bloomberg said it's looking to establish an agency-of-record agreement with either a single full-service shop or a group of specialty ones. The agency or agencies will be responsible for a range of marketing duties, including "corporate identity and design, advertising, media, digital, events and demand generation" across its various media properties.

Those properties include Bloomberg the newswire; Bloomberg TV, a 24-hour business channel; Bloomberg radio on XM and Sirius satellite radio; Bloomberg Markets magazine, and of course, its new acquisition from McGraw-Hill, BusinessWeek -- although the property was not named in the RFI.

Unsurprisingly for a company that carries the name of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it prefers agencies be based in the Big Apple. "Our agency partners will preferably be headquartered in New York (or with a substantial office here)," it said, "and with capabilities in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America, whether directly or through partnerships."

The search looks like the latest step in a steady move by Bloomberg to market itself far beyond the core financial professionals who pay to use its terminals. Last May, the company hired its first chief marketing officer, naming former Sears CMO Maureen McGuire to the newly created post. In October 2008 it hired former Sony BMG chairman and NBC News President Andrew Lack to overhaul its little-seen TV channel; ideas before Mr. Lack include a satiric take on financial news a la "The Daily Show."

The BusinessWeek acquisition is another piece of that strategy. BusinessWeek this week laid off about 130 employees -- approximately one-third of its staff -- days in advance of officially joining Bloomberg's portfolio.

Bloomberg's procurement department is leading the new agency selection process, according to one source.

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