MindShare Seeks Own Identity

WPP Media Operation Wants Separate Space for Independence
CHICAGO–Kathleen Brookbanks’ first task as managing director of MindShare’s Chicago office will be to find a suitable space to house the 170-person staff before the media operation officially opens in the fall.
Brookbanks said she is looking for a space that is separate from both J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, the two WPP agencies from which MindShare was formed earlier this year.
“It would give MindShare a sense of independence,” she said. “To take two organizations with two cultures and have them create one culture, the best way is to move.”
Brookbanks, who was a managing partner and executive media director at O&M Chicago, was appointed to lead MindShare’s Chicago operation last week. She will manage an office that will handle clients that include Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Kraft, Princess Cruise Lines and Sears, all clients of O&M and JWT.
MindShare is creating a network of 10 offices across the United States. Brookbanks said the Mindshare operation should work well here because the JWT and O&M media operations in Chicago were “complementary.”
“JWT didn’t have national [media capabilities] and Ogilvy didn’t have spot,” she said.
Brookbanks said she wants to increase the shop’s size to make it one of the top three in Chicago as well as a significant contributor to MindShare’s U.S. operations.
The office will start with $1 billion in billings, a good chunk of that coming from O&M’s Sears account. The Chicago office will handle all of MindShare’s work for the retailer, which includes broadcast, cable, spot and syndicated television planning and buying. Sears spent $371 million advertising in those segments last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
MindShare originally intended to split the Sears account between its New York and Chicago offices, but that plan was later altered following discussions with the client, Brookbanks said.
“As we worked with Sears to see how it would be divided, we ultimately determined it should all be here,” she said.
Mindshare didn’t reach the U.S. until late last year, three years after launching in Europe, Asia and Latin America. U.S. operations were expected to total $7 billion in 10 offices. Under Irwin Gotlieb, the operation is led by Jean Pool, president/operations; Peter Chrisanthopoulos, president/national broadcast and programming; and Ray Simko, president/strategic planning. K