In September 2013, Publicis Groupe acquired a major stake in media agency Walker
Media to form the "cornerstone" of a new media network inside of ZenithOptimedia (ZO).
Now, ZO is making good on those plans with the launch of Blue 449. The new network will leverage the resources of the ZO network and will operate collaboratively with the other ZenithOptimedia brands: Zenith, Optimedia, Performics, Newcast, Moxie, and Ninah.
The new network will also benefit from access to services within the Publicis Groupe and VivaKi, in a new framework for clients called “Open Source.” This collaborative approach will inform Blue 449’s relationships with media, technology and creative partners, as well as influence the network’s planning approach and its response to the new digital economy.
"The world doesn’t need yet another global media agency," says Steve King, Worldwide CEO, ZenithOptimedia. "What it needs is a new force of energy for clients looking to break with traditions. Blue 449 is a realization of visionary attitudes and thinking set to disrupt the market."
Blue 449 will be led by Sebastien Danet, who will become global chairman, and James Shoreland, who becomes global managing director. Danet is a global managing partner at ZenithOptimedia and chairman, VivaKi France.
Meanwhile, James Shoreland has been promoted to his new Blue 449 role from EVP, director corporate development, ZenithOptimedia U.S. These two executives will be joined by Phil Georgiadis, UK chairman, Blue 449, and other members of the ZenithOptimedia Worldwide Executive Committee in the leadership of the new network.
Blue 449 will be headquartered in London with 17 city hubs by the end of this year starting with EMEA and North America, followed soon after by Asia-Pacific and LATAM.
The network's new name reflects its backstory. Blue 449 was selected to illustrate the wavelength of the color between the blue of ZO and the purple of the former Walker Media brand.
"This is a truly exciting development in media communications," says Danet. "Blue 449 will be a dynamic, multi-hub network, benefitting from all the resources of ZenithOptimedia and Publicis Groupe and pioneering an Open Source, collaborative approach."