NEW PLANNING SETUP AT BATES;TEAMS WILL FOCUS ON SPECIFIC DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS

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Seeking to differentiate itself from other large agencies, Bates USA, New York, has developed a new structure for managing strategic planning.

Bates began considering the restructuring earlier this year (AA, Feb. 19).

6 TEAMS

Six teams-each consisting of an account planner and a media planner-have been assigned to cover specific demographic groups: children, teens, Generation X, baby boomers, empty nesters and corporate decision makers. The teams are housed in the creative department and work with account groups-which still have their own media planners-on brands interested in targeting one of the six demographic groups.

The objective is to better integrate strategic planning and consumer understanding into media and creative, said Bill Whitehead, president-chief operating of ficer, Bates USA.

`POINT OF DIFFERENCE'

"We don't just want to understand media better, but to understand the consumer better," Mr. Whitehead said. "We're trying to create a point of difference for the agency."

"We've seen it pay off in new business already," he added, noting Bates has been asked to contend for more new business this year than in either of the previous two years. That's a welcome change from 1995, when Bates used much of its energy saving existing accounts worth a total of $150 million from Miller Brewing Co. and Estee Lauder Cos.

Since Mr. Whitehead took over in October '95, Bates has won more than $70 million in new business from clients including Electronic Data Systems, Orion Pictures and Kinney Shoes.

Mr. Whitehead said the agency wants to win new business in the financial, insurance and package-goods areas.

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