Sheri Rothblatt and Gary Kagawa, executive media directors at Wunderman, will lead the new division at Mediaedge:cia as managing partners and will report to Charles Courtier, Mediaedge:cia Worldwide's executive chairman and CEO.
Eighty-five Wunderman media employees will move to Mediaedge:cia's New York headquarters on Seventh Avenue as part of the deal, bringing with them several new direct-marketing accounts for Mediaedge:cia, including 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, AT&T, Club Med, AICPA, Citibank, Brink's Home Security, Sylvan Learning Center and Campbell Soup Co.
Mr. Courtier said the arrangement will give Wunderman's media clients more leverage in the market. "Delivering clout is a big part of it," Mr. Courtier said. "This combines the power and strength of the media side to the one-to-one directing marketing business, but fusing the data capabilities of both shops is the other half of the story."
KnowledgeBase Marketing, Wunderman's research and data subsidiary, will not make the move over to Mediaedge:cia, which already has significant investments in customer and household data resources and modeling tools for planning media buys and determining a marketing campaign's return-on-investment. KnowledgeBase will be providing services to the merged media group.
"My media operations are strong," said Daniel Morel, chairman-CEO of Wunderman, "but I could never develop a strong relationship with large media operators on my own, so bringing these assets to Charles will give us access to them. We will be playing with the big boys."
Office in 12 world markets
Mr. Morel said the merger will also involve Wunderman and Mediaedge:cia offices in 12 of the largest markets around the world. Mr. Courtier is also expected to take a seat on the Wunderman board.
AT&T, a client of both shops, played a significant role in arranging the marriage. "We're pleased to have been a catalyst behind the initiative," Karen Milke, a media director at AT&T, said in a statement released by Mediaedge:cia.