Maxus Gains U.K. Beachhead

NEW YORK WPP Group’s Maxus has established a major presence in the U.K. for the first time with rebranding of sister media shop BJK&E in London as a Maxus office.

The move follows the appointment of Kelly Clark in October as global CEO of Maxus, a new post at the agency. Both moves signal plans for a major expansion of Maxus, the smallest of WPP’s global media networks (the others being Mindshare, Mediaedge:cia and MediaCom).
The new London office of Maxus will serve as the U.K. base for the WPP global media network.

Clark, 42, noted that the U.K. is the first new market to join the growing Maxus network since his appointment in October. Other new offices in European markets will join the Maxus network in 2009, he said.

“To achieve our growth plans, it’s absolutely essential for us to establish a strong beachhead in the U.K.,” said Clark.  “The U.K. is a crucially important market, and BJK&E can help us deliver our vision there.”

Clark, who previously served as CEO of GroupM EMEA, relocated to New York in November to lead development of the global Maxus network. He said BJK&E rebranding is effective Jan. 1, 2009. He added that BJK&E’s current management structure would remain in place and the agency would continue to be led by joint managing directors James Jennings and Tim Irwin.

London-based BJK&E was launched in 1992 as a joint venture media agency between Tempus and Bozell. It was acquired by WPP in 2001 and has fully integrated on- and offline media planning and buying services.

BJK&E serves more than 30 clients, including Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler Group, Seiko, Palm, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Triumph/Sloggi and Betfair. New business wins in the last 18 months include Ubisoft, Eurosport, Church & Dwight, British Motor Show and Illinois Bureau of Tourism.

When Clark was promoted to global CEO of Maxus in October, Irwin Gotlieb, CEO of WPP media management arm GroupM, said at the time, “We have ambitious plans for the development of Maxus [and] Kelly is a true global executive. “His experience and his passion for working hands-on with clients makes him well-suited to deliver a new Maxus vision around the world.”