As it sets its sights on becoming a much larger, influential news organization, Bloomberg LP has reached out to creative agencies to develop its biggest-scale marketing campaign to date for its portfolio of brands.
In a request for information that several big, global ad agencies received, Bloomberg said it was seeking an agency or agencies to help it with "corporate identity and design, advertising, media, digital, events and demand generation."
Bloomberg said its agency partners would preferably be New York-based and with capabilities in Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.
The search comes five months after Bloomberg hired its first chief marketing officer, Maureen McGuire, a marketing vet of Sears Holdings and IBM. She declined to comment for this story.
Although Bloomberg is a giant in financial and market data through the eponymous terminals that it leases to trading professionals, its terminal revenue has been slowing. While Bloomberg employs more than 1,500 news staffers, it also has lacked a mass outlet for its news content.
Bloomberg is looking to change that, however, with BusinessWeek. By adding the newsweekly to its portfolio, the company hopes to give its journalists better access to corporate and political newsmakers, thus strengthening its audience reach and credibility across its media platforms.
BusinessWeek isn't mentioned in the Bloomberg RFI, but the agency search is taking place as Bloomberg closes its announced purchase of the weekly, and it's expected to be part of the creative initiative. Bloomberg executives have already stated their plans to add Bloomberg to the title's name, increase its page count and make BusinessWeek glossier and more international in coverage.
Bloomberg also is looking to recruit talent to develop new technology functions for its terminal.
The deadline to reply to the RFI was two weeks ago. Based on submissions, Bloomberg said it would narrow the field to a "short list" of agencies that would receive a "detailed request for proposal."
Bloomberg spent a modest $1.3 million on media in 2008, down from $2 million in 2007 and down slightly from its 2006 spend of $1.4 million, per Nielsen. About half of the 2008 spending went to support the company's cable TV and business services. Figures are U.S. only and don't include online spending.
See also: "Bloomberg to Set Web Strategy'