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Vizeum Seeks North American Presence

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NEW YORK Carat parent Aegis Group is taking steps to establish Vizeum as its second media agency network in North America, and has named Jamie Edwards chief client officer for the region.

Edwards, who helped launch Vizeum in Europe three years ago, is working with Carat Americas CEO David Verklin on a plan to introduce the strategic planning company in the U.S. Vizeum could be open for business here by the end of this year or early 2007, Edwards said.

"I would say we have yet to pin down how we want to go about launching," he said. "But we do have ambitions of launching here, and we're exploring it."

In Europe and Asia, Vizeum has focused on understanding consumer motivation as the core ingredient in its communications planning process. "It's founded on a proven model of consumer psychology," said Edwards, and has been well received overseas, where clients include BMW, Coke, Coors and Kia, to name just a few.

"I don't know how it will be taken by the American market," said Edwards of Vizeum's approach. "We think it's the next wave."

Vizeum has not pitched any domestic accounts, though a few European clients, including Rolls Royce, have asked it to provide strategy opinions for the U.S. market. Vizeum has also advised Circuit City on some communications issues but did not contend in the client's recent media review.