Burnett forms digital link with Arthur Andersen in South Africa

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JOHANNESBURG-- Leo Burnett Co.'s South African operation has formed a joint venture with global audit and consultancy firm Arthur Andersen to handle e-commerce and digital consultancy.

The "e-partnership," called Andersen-Burnett.com, will offer "an integration of the business strategy with marketing requirements based on the new economy, using various creative options, media opportunities and business solutions to make our clients more competitive," says a joint statement.

It's a purely South African initiative that could point the way for international agency networks, believes Burnett's local chief executive, Andrew Fasedemi.

"They (Arthur Andersen) are good at business strategy and designing Web sites," he says. "But when it comes to the creative look and feel, and to marketing strategy on an e-commerce platform, that is where we play a role."

A boom in dot-com companies advertising their activities offline in conventional media has just begun to take off here, and Mr. Fasedemi estimates it will account for 3% to 5% of total ad expenditure by the end of the year. That would make it worth $40 million to $65 million.

Online advertising is also growing rapidly, but is much smaller. Last year it tripled to $5 million, and this year it is expected to double.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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