Letter to Advertising Age:
|Each year the network described its growth, new projects, and other successes to a variety of industry publications. Most significant among these was the weekly Advertising Age. Craig Endicott was my contact there.|
May 18, 2001
A few weeks ago I spoke with you about timetables for submissions to AdAge’s annual network reports edition, after Paul Davidson submitted reports on Worldwide Partners billings to you in April. I read your features on 2000 agency rankings and 1999 network rankings, and I’d like to provide some background information you may find helpful.
Worldwide Partners, Inc. became a shareholder corporation on January 1, 2001, when 81 agencies solidified their longstanding commitment to assist one another. The speed, flexibility, and collective expertise of the owners make the corporation a new breed of advertising organization. Worldwide Partners agencies in 37 countries collectively serve more than 2,500 clients. The local knowledge that agencies communicate with each other guarantees that marketing messages are culturally accurate, socially appropriate, and commercially effective.
Worldwide Partners now ranks 11th among the world’s top advertising organizations. Billings have increased to $4.1 billion in 2000, and the number of clients served by multiple agencies in the corporation has increased from 23 last year to 35 this year. Today 83 agencies are shareholders, and agencies in each of the network’s four regions (European, Latin American, Asia-Pacific, and North American) are expected to become shareholders before the end of this year. Agencies from three countries are preparing to pitch a major international account, and another Worldwide Partners agency, in North America, is preparing to launch an international campaign for a French client in 15 to 20 markets.
The network has undertaken new measures to make known its strengths and capabilities. A branding campaign is planned, and a full-time branding manager has been hired at Headquarters. The Web team is expanding in order to enhance the network’s already formidable interactive capabilities. Partner-Net, a proprietary account management extranet developed at Headquarters, streamlines communication between agencies and their clients. Media Roster Online—set to launch in a few months—will allow agency media directors to collaborate on global media planning and buying.
In the past, companies with growing needs to reach wider, more diverse markets have been limited to a choice between multinational agencies or collections of lone independents. Now, they have another option.
The newly organized corporation will build upon its long history of successful working relationships. When five Southwestern agencies agreed in 1938 to serve as one another’s branch offices, one result was their successful adaptation to the advent of television. Today, Worldwide Partners agencies are building on a legacy of trust, a history of cooperation, and a vision of the future to help their clients make the most of another revolutionary marketing medium, the Internet.
The quality of work being produced by networks of independents matches that of any other global agency. Worldwide Partners agencies have received awards across all categories in record numbers over the past year, and their creative work is being included in many of the world’s most prestigious collections.
Enclosed is a set of international radio spots for Futurestep, an online executive search company. Kalis & Savage Worldwide Partners in Los Angeles coordinated Futurestep’s global campaign, and their success with the client has become a model for other joint business ventures in the network.
And I sent to you, late last week, a copy of Simon Arnholt’s Another One Bites the Grass, a study of the problems inherent in international advertising campaigns. Arnholt’s case studies are enlightening, and we are pleased that publishers consider the issues raised by globalization in marketing communications so important. We are also pleased to say that Worldwide Partners agencies working together on global business have already succeeded in conquering the conceptual and logistical challenges he describes.
Feel free to call me if you have any questions, or if I can assist you in any way.
Damon A. Gitelman