Leagas Delaney stamps London attitude on foreign offices

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LONDON--British ad agency Leagas Delaney, as first reported in the October 27, 1998 edition of the Daily World Wire, has started 1999 by opening a new office in Germany.

The Duesseldorf office will be run by Managing Director Hendrik Schulze and Planning Director Karen Heumann, both of whom joined from German ad agency KNSK BBDO. They are joined by Creative Directors Todd Schulz and Ralf Zilligen, who had their own creative consultancy that worked on German ads for Leagas Delaney during the past two years. Germany is home to two of Leagas Delaney's big international clients: Adidas and Nintendo Europe.

The London agency already has offices in Rome, Barcelona, Paris and San Francisco. The decision by Leagas Delaney to continue its international expansion follows the decision last year to buy itself out from London agency Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.

The budding network says it intends to challenge conventional agency networks by encouraging a high degree of cooperation between offices, rather than letting individual shops within a network operate as "stand-alone" entities.

Bruce Haines, the group's chief executive, says the decision to develop through agency launches rather than acquisitions will ensure Leagas Delaney can invest in the talent it wants. "In some ways, it has been a harder way of expanding abroad, but is has also given us more control," Mr. Haines says.

The group plans a program of work placements and quarterly meetings at the main London office to help overseas staff learn more about Leagas Delaney attitudes and systems. "We aim to create the atmosphere of `one agency' rather than a traditional network. London will endeavor to set the standard, while each local office will provide the local knowledge to ensure that our strategic and creative recommendations are appropriate for each market," Mr. Haines says.

Copyright January 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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