Leo Burnett to brand global media operations starcom

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LONDON--Following the collapse of discussions with the MacManus Group to merge media operations, Leo Burnett Co. has announced it will brand its entire global media operation Starcom Worldwide by July 31. The ad organization has already introduced the Starcom name and operational system to the U.S., Australia, Thailand and Mexico.

The move reportedly will create a unified media entity with billings of $7.3 billion, one in which and all offices have access to proprietary resources and an intranet. Dedicated multinational client business teams will be expanded and "leveraged to maximize resources for global clients and create idea cross-pollination to develop `best practice' solutions," the network claims.

"Our clients are looking to dissolve regional and national borders and seek one superior resource for media," says Richard B. Fizdale, chairman and CEO of Leo Burnett Co.

The Starcom brand will be transferred to virtually all of the 75 countries in which Burnett exists. In the U.K., however, Motive, the media arm of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London, in which Burnett has a 49% stake, will continue to operate as a separate brand.

Starcom Worldwide will be led by Jack Klues, CEO, and Bob Brennan, chief operating officer, who will oversee four regional media directors, multinational media teams, research and technology. The executive regional directors are: Renetta McCann, 42, in the U.S.; Manuel Reyes, 37, in Latin America; Gary Brown, 41, in Asia-Pacific, and Liz Workman, 38, in Europe/Middle East/Africa (until she takes on her new role as worldwide account director on the Procter & Gamble business.

A Starcom board will include: Mr. Fizdale; Roger Haupt, Burnett's chief operating officer; Jim Oates, president of Leo Burnett Co.; Jeff Fergus, Burnett's group president of Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia-Pacific; Mr. Klues; Mr. Brennan; Frank Voris, Starcom's chief financial officer, and Mark Cranmer, CEO of Motive.

Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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