WPP COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF BERLIN CAMERON

Andy Berlin and Lee Daley to Head Red Cell

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group today announced the purchase of Berlin Cameron & Partners, a New York-based advertising agency.

Terms of the agreement make Berlin Cameron Chairman Andy Berlin co-chief of Red Cell, WPP's fourth global network.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

Shared Leadership
Mr. Berlin will take the title co-chief executive and chief creative officer at Red Cell, sharing leadership responsibilities with Lee Daley, who comes to the network as co-chief executive and chief strategy officer. Mr. Daley was until July executive vice president and chief strategy officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson Worldwide.

Ewen Cameron, who co-founded Berlin Cameron in 1997 with Mr. Berlin, will be responsible for Red Cell's U.S. operations.

Luca Lindner, who

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has been Red Cell's chief executive since the network launched in early 2001, said, "Both the Berlin Cameron acquitision and the hiring of Lee Daley are things that I worked very hard with [Sir] Martin [Sorrell] on, and I'm very happy about it."

Mr. Lindner is believed to be leaving WPP for Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, but will not comment on his current activities, Advertising Age magazine reported Nov. 5.

WPP said Mr. Lindner will continue to work with Mr. Berlin and Mr. Daley but did not explain Mr. Lindner's role in the new Red Cell management structure.

Current Red Cell clients include Alfa Romeo, Singapore Airlines, Nestle, Yamaha and Bank of Scotland. Clients of Berlin Cameron & Partners, which has estimated billings of $265 million, include Coca-Cola Co., the National Basketball Association, New York Life Insurance, Ralston Purina and Reebok.

Developing London operations
Working from Red Cell's headquarters in London since Dec. 3, Mr. Daley handles strategic issues for Red Cell clients as well as for the network. A current concern of his is developing Red Cell's London operations.

"Any credible network globally has to have a significant presence in London," Mr. Daley told AdAge.com. "We've downsized here to essentially re-articulate the presence of Red Cell in the market."

The repositioning could come through an acquisition, a merger or launch of a new venture. "We'll explore our options," he said.

Asked about other possible Red Cell office locations, Mr. Daley said, "We'll never be a network that has 100 offices in 100 markets. That doesn't make sense anymore."

Core markets
Rather, Red Cell will cover "geographically core markets in key regions," he said. For instance, London and New York are places "where a presence and competitive strategy make sense. Japan is another obvious hub market," he said.

Beyond that, Red Cell management is "looking for talent that can make a relevant contribution to a bigger picture," Mr. Daley said. "If there were people doing brilliant work on Mars we'd go there and have a look."

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