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Integer Expands Beyond U.S.

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NEW YORK U.S.-based retail marketing agency The Integer Group has opened its first hub offices overseas. But rather than go it alone, Omnicom Group's Integer is using the pre-existing space and resources of sister agency TBWA.

Two of the four new hubs are in China (Shanghai and Ghangzhou); the others are in Paris and Tokyo. Integer now has four hubs in the U.S and four overseas, with the potential to add up to four more.

Integer, a former unit of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services division, aligned itself with TBWA in 2006, in a Omnicom-driven bid to expand and diversify the offerings of its global agency networks. The shop, which creates marketing and promotional events within retail stores, maintains its own profit and loss responsibilities, however.

The expansion is driven in part by the needs of global clients, such as Procter & Gamble, for which Integer and TBWA already are working in Tokyo, according to Integer CEO Mike Sweeney. Integer and TBWA handle some P&G hair care business there.

Integer also is said to be pursuing new business opportunities in Shanghai.

Other top clients of Integer, which is based in Denver, include Coors and Polaris, a leading manufacturer of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles.

Sweeney, who described the expansion as "very methodical," said that in some markets, the agency is investing ahead of revenue. Expansion on the back of TBWA, however, is a lot more economical than starting from scratch, he added.

"We'll be working very closely with [TBWA] because we'll be accessing resources from them," such as in the realm of production, Sweeney said.

Long term, Integer chairman Jeremy Pagden envisions as many as 12 hub offices, with London, for example, being another potential market. TBWA's global footprint will continue to serve as the platform for expansion, said Pagden, who also is president of TBWA Marketing Services.

Integer's competitors include Grey Global Group's G2, Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi X and WPP Group's Ogilvy Action, all of which have global reach.