Aussie advertisers told beware of merged media shops

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AUCKLAND - Plans by U.K.-based Cordiant Plc's three New Zealand agencies - Saatchi & Saatchi, Bates New Zealand and The Campaign Palace - to merge their media-buying into Zenith Media, forming a local $200 million mega shop, have been attacked by the Magazine Publishers' Association.

It told advertisers to beware of moves by the new breed of specialist media buyers to negotiate agency-based contracts, rather than contracts that are advertiser-based.

MPA President Martin Taylor warned that Zenith was likely to push advertisers and media companies into forming agency-orientated contracts. "What matters is what's great for the client, not what's great for the agency," he said. "Any move to negotiate agency-wide agreements with media will seriously question the quality and independence of advice that media shops can offer their clients. Bigger isn't always better."

Meanwhile, Zenith Media in Australia, at present based in Sydney, is moving quickly to establish full-service offices in Melbourne, Adeliade and Perth, with a Brisbane office possible next year.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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