MindShare Opens Southeast Media Hub in Atlanta

The battle between global media networks and regional agencies has erupted on another market front.

MindShare North America, the merged media operations of WPP Group’sJ. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, has established a Southeast office.

JWT senior partner Andie Fox has been tapped to manage the Atlanta-based operation.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to establish MindShare in Atlanta,” said Fox. “We’ve taken the two best media departments in the city and made them one.”

The Atlanta office is the third MindShare unit to come on stream, following launches in New York and Chicago beginning in 1997. The new location will place an estimated$200 million in media dollars.

“Andie has nearly 30 years of experience in the advertising industry, most of it spent in Atlanta,” said Irwin Gotlieb, chairman and chief executive of MindShare. “Her knowledge, combined with her media savvy makes her an ideal leader for our growing office.”

As the unbundling of agency services continues, entities like MindShare, Universal McCann and indie media specialists like Initiative here and Carat in New York view the Southeast as an important battleground.

“We now have a full play of companies,” said Rich Sims, Initiative executive vice president and general manager. “MindShare elevates the awareness of this service. Andie is an individual who’s very respected in the market.”

Fox will oversee media planning and purchasing services for clients such as the U.S. Marine Corps, CIBA Vision in Duluth, Ga., and Orkin Exterminating Co. here.

“Clients are expecting greater expertise in terms of what companies can offer them,” said Fox. “When JWT and Ogilvy are involved in new business pitches, we plan to be there as their media investment partner.”

MindShare has 3,500 employees in 56 offices worldwide. It plans to continue its U.S. rollout in seven other cities, including Los Angeles and Miami, in the coming months.