Ad agencies have had international media directors for years, but as
media around the world become increasingly complex and costly, clients
want more in-house knowledge and control over everything from striking global media buying deals to transplanting winning ideas into new markets.
American Express Co.'s first international media director, Sue Chaimberlin, started earlier this month in New York. Coca-Cola Co. dispatched former Young & Rubicam, Frankfurt, media director Mike
Quilty to Atlanta headquarters and the new job of international
director of media last September.
From London, Mike Jarvis and Ian Hutchinson started traveling the world
in late 1995 on media missions, respectively, for U.S. computer marketer Gateway 2000 and Benckiser, a German-based cosmetics and household
cleaning products marketer. Mr. Hutchinson was recruited from Grey's Mediacom subsidiary in London by the Paris office of executive recruiter Russell Reynolds; Mr. Jarvis was personally hired by Gateway 2000's Chairman-CEO Ted Waitt after advising Gateway on its 1994 European launch.
CLIENTS SET NEW TREND
"The general trend is that client companies are realizing how much money they're spending on advertising and addressing the need for someone with specialized [media] knowledge within the organization," said Benckiser's Mr. Hutchinson. "It always strikes me as strange that 80% to 85% of ad budgets are spent on media and about 20% on [creating] advertising but the time split is totally the other way, [only] about 15% on media."
Les Margulis, senior VP-international media director at BBDO New York, said several BBDO clients are thinking about adding a worldwide media director to their budgets this year or in 1997.
"I highly recommend that clients involved in extensive international business have one," he said. "There is absolutely a trend and the reason
is that U.S. corporate media directors now are not equipped to deal with the complexity of issues buffeting the worldwide media markets."
American Express is the latest convert. "As many other advertisers are doing, [Amex] is trying to get better activity and control around the
world with [its] budget," said Ms. Chamberlin, interviewed on her first
day at Amex. She came from Y&R, where she was international media director.
Further up the learning curve, veteran U.K. media buying specialist Mr. Jarvis, handled Gateway 2000 at the Carat media buying group before
joining the computer company as worldwide media director last summer.
"I'm responsible for Gateway's media investment for all markets: North America, Europe, Japan -