Grouped in the same holding company, Starcom and MediaVest found common ground and an understanding of what each could do for the other that wasn't apparent when talks between the two broke down 18 months earlier, said Jack Klues, CEO of the new Starcom MediaVest Group.
"They have evolved to a more full service operation, and we have had a year to understand how to operate as a media organization," said Klues, who was CEO of Starcom.
Leo Burnett and the MacManus group first discussed merging their media operations in 1998, but those talks broke down over organizational differences [Adweek, Nov. 23, 1998]. The recent creation of holding company B COM3 facilitated the merger and led to the creation of the Starcom MediaVest Group.
SMG will be a "distinct operating unit" of B COM3, overseeing all of the parent company's worldwide media operations, Klues said. Joining Klues in running the the media holding company will be Starcom chief operating officer Bob Brennan, who will take the same title at SMG; and MediaVest chief operating officer Kevin Malloy, who will serve as the executive vice president of international operations and also chief executive of MediaVest North America.
Current MediaVest CEO Mike Moore will retire from day-to-day operations in July, but will retain a seat on SMG's board.
Klues stressed that the operations in the U. S. and the U.K. would remain separate entities.
"I see no compelling reason to bring the two together," he said. "MediaVest is a well-known brand in the U.K., and we just brought Starcom and [Bartle Bogle Hegarty's media unit] Motive together there."
The merger will also not affect Brazil, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and some European countries. K