Starcom IP Plans Global Push


Bcom3’s Internet Media Unit Continues Impressive Growth
CHICAGO–Bcom3’s Internet media unit, Starcom IP, is set to expand its international presence and plans for “two to three offices” on each con-tinent by the end of the year, its top executive said.
“I don’t think we’re going to have 75 operations,” said Rishad Tobaccowala, Starcom IP’s chief executive officer. “The nice thing about the Web is [that] you can support it from other places.”
The unit, part of the Chicago holding company’s Starcom MediaVest Group, now has offices in Toronto and London. In its 18 months, Starcom IP has doubled its staff to 55 and increased its revenue 500 percent, placing more than $100 million in online media, Tobaccowala said.
“We tend to add a client every 10 business days,” Tobaccowala said. Those recent wins include Excite.com, Peoplesoft, Lego, and work for the U.S. Army, which was included in Leo Burnett and Starcom’s recent win.
Tobaccowala attributed the growth to the unit’s approach to the Internet. Rather than keying on traditional demographics, the unit breaks the market into “fashion,” or interest, groups to determine the best ad placement on the Web.
“The moment you do that, the way you approach this market changes dramatically,” Tobaccowala said. “If your message is integrated into where those groups hang out, it works.”
Starcom IP tries to look at its Web assignments with a total marketing perspective, rather than just focusing on media, he said. Indicitave of that approach is the background of its newly named No. 2 executive, Andrew Swinand, formerly director of marketing at Reflect.com. Swinand, who will serve as general manager of Starcom IP’s San Francisco office, has also been a brand manager at Procter & Gamble and an account supervisor at BBDO West.
“It’s a further reflection that [Starcom IP] is as much about marketing as it is about media,” Tobaccowala said.
Starcom IP was formed in 1998 to find ways to integrate the Internet with traditional media plans. The unit was set up to understand and interpret ways in which clients could best use the Internet for marketing, Tobaccowala said. K