For Mediabrands, the hope is that the new network, which will
handle media buying and planning, will help solve the problem of
having to turn down participating in domestic and global pitches
because of client conflicts. Mediabrands CEO Matt Seiler said last
year the company turned down opportunities worth a combined sum of
nearly $11 billion in billings.
Mr. Seiler expects the firm to grow to be at least as large as
Initiative and UM. Additionally, the new brand will create an
umbrella organization for a group of regional media agencies,
dubbed Brand Connections, that don't exist as part of UM or
"We knew we could build on the base of those existing [global]
agencies and create a network around them. Putting that under Brian
[McMahon] allowed us to think about how it could be something other
than just a conflict shop," Mr. Seiler told Ad Age . "We want it to
have a strong point of view like UM and Initiative , so we looked
at what a network would feel like [if it had] an investment banking
Mr. Seiler noted Mr. McMahon's investment banking background was
one reason he was chosen for oversight of the new agency. The
association with Mr. McMahon and Orion will enable the new shop to
leverage the firm's bartering assets and unique relationships with
media owners, Mr. Seiler said.
In the coming weeks, the firm plans on announcing a global CEO
for BPN, as well as a portfolio of clients. The CEO will report to
Mr. McMahon, who reports to Mr. Seiler.