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MindShare Opens in Los Angeles

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The MindShare North America rollout has reached Los Angeles as WPP's global media network is merging the media planning and buying operations of its J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather offices into a local powerhouse that will employ more than 50 people and command $300 million in billings.

Named managing director of the outpost is Mark Rice, currently executive media director at Ogilvy here.

MindShare L.A. is the fourth regional office to open since the network officially formed in the U.S. in April. It joins offices in New York and Chicago and the 3-week-old MindShare Atlanta.

The L.A. office will boast a client roster that includes Mattel, 20th Century Fox Films, Fox Family Worldwide, Mailboxes Etc. and MaxiCare Health Plans.

"Combined, our strengths will be far greater," said Rice. For example, he said, "JWT has a radio promotions group based out of Detroit that Ogilvy never had, and Ogilvy has a large nontraditional media group that JWT never had. We're bringing these [resources] to our clients."

The team will move into new offices in JWT's building on Wilshire Blvd. by early 2001. Key members include investment services group head Laurel Pabian (the buying operation is known as investment services), group planning director Renalee Pflug and associate media directors Geraldine Pugongan and Debi Sokol.

MindShare is one of the largest global media networks, with 56 offices around the world and claimed billings of more than $17 billion. In the U.S., it holds an estimated $7 billion in media business.