JWT Total Solutions unit to brand integrated work

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J. Walter Thompson Co. is branding its integrated marketing work in a new unit called the Total Solutions Group.

The New York-based group will handle below-the-line activities--direct marketing, ethnic marketing, promotion and new media--by combining efforts of such WPP Group units as JWT Direct, Mendoza Dillon & Associados, Promotional Campaign Group, RTCdirect, EWA and Savatar.

HUB AND SPOKES

"Think of it as a hub-and-spoke system," said Total Solutions CEO Michael Graham. "We are the center part of the hub and out of the spokes will be JWT people working with our clients and [other] resources and services we might bring under this common umbrella."

JWT Direct will be the initial cornerstone of the new unit, but Total Solutions will seek to build additional capabilities overseas. Total Solutions will open with $160 million to $170 million in billings from existing JWT clients.

Total Solutions will service existing JWT clients Sprint Corp. and Ford Motor Co., and also will prospect for new business on its own, said Mr. Graham.

That will enable the unit to attract clients that want integrated marketing, but not necessarily general advertising services, he added.

Mr. Graham joins the new group from WPP's Specialist Communications direct-marketing shop in Washington, which he will continue to serve as CEO.

Becky Chidester, formerly chief operating officer of Specialized Communications, has been named managing director.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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