Buying Firm Forms 3 'Super Regions,' Wins Foot Locker Media
LOS ANGELES--Western International Media has restructured its $3.5 billion U.S. operation into three separate divisions to get closer to its clients. The plan calls for the formation of three so-called "Super Regions" and the appointment of a managing director to run each one.
The three geographic areas are: The Pacific Region, based in Los Angeles; Central Region in Chicago and Eastern Region in New York.
The three officials who have been named executive vice presidents, managing directors to oversee each region are: Bruce Silverman (Pacific), Michael Kubin (Eastern) and Will Howard (Central). They will report to Michael Kassan, president and chief operating officer at Western. The three were all promoted from their previous positions inside Western.
"With media options and opportunities proliferating at what seems like light speed, clients need to be close to their media partners' key decision makers and strategic thinkers," said Kassan. He added that Western's growth from new clients in 1997 such as BellSouth and Acura also prompted the reorganization.
Separately, Western's New York office has started to execute buys for Foot Locker, which spends an estimated $40-50 million annually on advertising.
While the arrangement is considered temporary, sources said Foot Locker parent the Woolworth Athletic Group will either keep its buying chores at Western or move them to Deutsch in New York.
That agency recently won creative and media planning duties for the Foot Locker brand. Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York was given creative duties for the smaller Lady Foot Locker chain.
Several other creative assignments have yet to be doled out, said sources.
Zenith Media and Bates USA, both in New York, resigned their respective media planning/buying and creative portions of the business simultaneously in September.
Kassan declined comment on the Foot Locker win.
Toby Wyman, advertising manager at Foot Locker, did not return calls by press time.