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Bcom3 Eyes Global Opportunity

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Bcom3 Group management is exploring the possibility of creating a third global advertising network.

Reiner Erfert, Bcom3's Zurich, Switzerland-based vice chairman, said the topic could come before Bcom3's global operating group in a meeting this week.

"We have a meeting next week; I hope we will have time to discuss [the possibility]," Erfert said last week.

Officials with the Chicago-based holding company have acknowledged their desire to create a third global agency network. Leo Burnett and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles are the company's current global advertising properties.

Though the company last week opened an office of its Avenue Advertising in Germany and has Black Pencil offices in Europe and the United States, it is too early to say whether either of those offices will develop into a third network, Erfert said.

"We really are in an early stage of looking at what we have and are seeing how we can make them work together," he said. "We have to see whether they are willing to do that and whether it makes sense."

The considerations include managing potential conflicts and each office's individual culture, he said. "I don't think it makes a lot of sense to force people into something," he said.

Bcom3's relationship with Dentsu, Tokyo, which has a 20 percent stake in the holding company, is also likely to play a part in creating a new global network, Erfert said.

Also last week, Bcom3 named Mike Marino worldwide account director for its Bristol-Myers Squibb business, which works with several Bcom3 business units.

Marino, who will also continue his duties as director of creative and strategic development at Bcom3 property Manning Salvage & Lee, will work with the units that represent the client's brands.

The Bcom3 properties currently working on Bristol-Myers Squibb projects are: D'Arcy, Medicus Group International, Starcom MediaVest Group, The Kaplan Thaler Group and Clarion.

An agency representative said similar appointments on global brands shared by Bcom3 properties may be considered but none are in the offing.