MindShare Acquires Michaelides & Bednash

Pioneering Media-Planning Shop Will Fold Into WPP Agency; Founders to Head Unilever-Dedicated Unit

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group's MindShare today is announcing it its acquiring the company that practically invented media planning: Michaelides & Bednash.

The media agency said it will incorporate U.K.'s Michaelides & Bednash, which was founded in 1994, into its worldwide Invention Group. Founders and industry pioneers George Michaelides and Graham Bednash, along with managing partner Paul O'Neill, will lead a newly formed planning unit that will service MindShare's Unilever account. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MindShare's Invention Group oversees digital content, programming, sponsorship and planning.

The agency said Messrs. Michaelides, Bednash and O'Neill will be charged with further developing the Invention unit and all Michaelides & Bednash's staff will transfer to MindShare to work within the group, effective immediately.

"The opportunities at Invention are immense," Messrs. Michaelides and Bednash said in a joint statement. "It means we can play on a much bigger canvas and fulfill the talent and ambitions of ourselves and our people on a global scale. MindShare are hungry for change and we share the same vision of the future. It's a perfect match."

Messrs. Michaelides and Bednash are widely regarded as fathers of media planning, giving rise to a discipline that gives media a greater, and more creative, role in the marketing process. The agency already has experience working with Unilever and other clients include Pepsi, Penguin Books and GSK, among others.

This past April, MindShare underwent a global restructuring intended to simplify its offerings to clients by integrating more than 10 separate agency units and disciplines into four new areas covering all MindShare services.
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