Starcom Embarks on Global Tour

Extending Model Abroad; Billings Goal Is $10 Bil. Within 2 Years
CHICAGO–New business growth plans for Starcom Media Services shouldn’t be slowed by the media operation’s global expansion efforts, Starcom chief executive officer Jack Klues said last week.
Executives at the Leo Burnett subsidiary said the Chicago agency’s media departments worldwide will adopt Starcom’s operational model by July 31, establishing Starcom as a global media network.
The agency wants to grow to $10 billion in billings within two years. “I think you’ll see us move very fast with some unique opportunities,” Klues said.
“Operating as a unified global company will enable us to leverage these strategic advances across the network,” said Burnett chief operating officer Roger Haupt. “Each office is embracing the Starcom commitment to media accountability–providing clients with measurable results that build brands.”
When the expansion is complete, Starcom will have operations in 75 markets and will be the world’s fourth-largest media company, with $7.3 billion in billings, Klues said.
Key to meeting its growth goals will be teaching the operating system and business model to media directors across the global network.
“The way the business has grown is not because we had a name or a better pitch. It’s because we had a better business model,” said chief operating officer Bob Brennan.
Starcom currently has offices in Australia, Mexico, Thailand and the U.S., with billings totaling an estimated $4 billion. In the U.S., the company in the last year has chalked up $700 million in new billings from clients such as Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Canon, Diageo and Sara Lee.
In preparation for the push beyond the U.S., Starcom last month restructured its U.S. operations, allowing Brennan and Klues to concentrate more on global expansion [Adweek, Feb. 22]. Frank Voris, formerly finance director for Leo Burnett USA, will be Starcom Worldwide’s chief financial officer.
Brennan will oversee four regional directors: Renetta McCann (U.S.), Manuel Reyes (Latin America), Gary Brown (Asia/Pacific) and, on an interim basis, Liz Workman (Europe/Middle East/Africa).
The global expansion will not affect Motive, the U.K. media division in which Burnett owns a 49 percent stake. Owned by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Motive will continue to operate as an independent entity, officials said.