The first Optinet, due to go live in September, is for U.K.-based drinks marketer Allied Domecq. Whirlpool is currently testing the idea, with a view to taking it on later in the year, and both S.C. Johnson and 3-Com are also considering the concept, says Mark Jones, Optimedia group director, international.
Allied Domecq has allowed Optimedia access to its own internal Intranet so that AD executives can click on Optinet at any time. The site includes management information - such as competitive activity reports, media plans and media templates (enabling consistency across markets) and European media expenditure status reports. It will also feature case studies of work the agency has carried out for other clients, including visuals of the executions, and details of which office created it. "Then we can put [the client] in touch with the planner involved, which saves reinventing the wheel," says Mr. Jones.
With AD, Optinet is expected to be particularly useful in maintaining the dialogue between agency and client and keeping each abreast of developments in the other organization: AD's campaigns are heavily seasonal, "so we may have no contact for 10 months of the year," explains Mr. Jones.
The Whirlpool Optinet, created in conjunction with Publicis, also includes a bank of creative ads, from which Whirlpool executives around the world can order. The system is expected to encourage managers in local markets to use more ads that have been developed centrally.
Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.