Merged GroupM Agencies Embrace A Different Operating Model

Looks like “NewCo,” the temporary name for the merged MEC-Maxus entity that is taking shape at GroupM, is foregoing the regional management structure that global agencies have traditionally embraced.

The agency has decided to scrap the North America-APAC (Asia Pacific)-EMEA(Europe Middle East and Africa)-LATAM (Latin America) management structure, an agency rep confirmed. Campaignhad the news first.

Instead, the agency’s top eight global markets—from which the majority of its revenues are generated—will report directly to CEO Tim Castree. Those markets are the U.S., China, India, Australia, UK, Germany, Canada and Italy.

According to Castree, the idea is to focus the agency more on clients and important markets and less on entire regions, parts of which may not be high on client priority lists.

Also, look for the new name and positioning of the agency by the end of the month. And no, the new moniker won’t be another “M” word--in addition to the merged and revamp-in-progress MEC/Maxus, GroupM operates Mindshare, MediaCom, m/Six and [m]Platform.



Rather, the agency’s name will derive from positioning that best differentiates it from the rest of the agency pack.  And it’s not like agencies with names that start with a letter other than an M are a completely foreign notion to the company: Essence and Xaxis being two examples.

Yeah, differentiation is critical these days. And a bit tricky.

Don’t all clients want similar things from their media shops? That is, messages presented at the optimal times, places and channels that consumers are in the right of frame of mind to engage with and act on? Of course, excellent data and programmatic skills are essential. And facile answers about the newer bells and whistles like AI and how they apply or don’t to client marketing goals are a must.

All the T-word-related issues need addressing. T as in transparency. Better have answers when those issues pop up. And it helps if the creative is spot on, not that media shops are in control of that. Which is part of the reason that WPP chief Martin Sorrell is so big on “horizontality” these days.  

Clients want effective and aligned service across all of a holding-company’s offerings. When sibling agencies servicing the same client don’t coordinate efforts properly, the result can be a sh*t show. Clients don’t like that.

This name-game thing is basically a B2B play. Castree and his team need to impress marketing pros with whatever positioning and branding they come up with for the new MECMaxus. No pressure people, but getting it right will win the hearts and minds of clients that spend many billions in annual ads that you place. It’s not totally science or totally art, but a bit of both it seems.

Get it right and the future just might be unlimited. Just ask Omnicom, they’ve been through this a couple of times recently. 

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