Newspaper, Wine Merchant Sign With Initiative

NEW YORK Initiative has won two pieces of new business that will generate $10-15 million in combined billings for the media planning and buying firm in the Southeast, the company disclosed last week.

The account acquisitions, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Morande Wines, come at a time when Initiative is trying to use its strategic planning resources to maximize growth for just such companies, according to Rob Claxton, executive vice president and general manager, Southeast region.

According to the Atlanta shop, which counts Home Depot and BellSouth as clients, the wins come at a time in which Initiative has realized 20 percent growth over the previous year, in the Southeast.

AJC selected the agency to handle its media duties based on a plan that will see the daily increase media on cable, in newspapers, radio and broadcast while focusing as well as on classifieds and job opportunity-related services. The paper, which reaches more than 1 million readers daily, is part of Cox Newspapers a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises.

Initiative has also picked up media duties for Atlanta-based Morande, an importer of Chilean wines that are currently distributed in only a handful of U.S. markets.

“It is looking to increase U.S. market share 100 fold in the next five years,” said Claxton. Initiative will assemble a mix of local broadcast, event planning, print and outdoor to target consumers, retailers and distributors, he said.

The account was awarded, in part, based on Initiative’s presence and reputation in Chile, where it counts Bayer and Unilever as clients.

Claxton said both new clients would make extensive use of Initiative’s strategic planning capabilities in an effort to further enhance their audience targeting.

“Ultimately, if we can help the AJC, we can help many of our clients that do business with them. So strategically, this is a very important account,” said Claxton. “Additionally, the depth and breadth of our planning and modeling capabilities, coupled with our buying clout, will ultimately deliver results for the AJC.”