Led by three of the world’s leading independent media planning and buying companies, UK-based BLM, Horizon Media of the USA, and Cossette Media of Canada, 13 best-in-market partner agencies have joined forces to launch Columbus Media International – the first independent global media services company. The new company provides global coverage across 18 territories including Europe, North America, Russia, and Asia Pacific.
Columbus combines international, media neutral channel planning with rigorous local and multi-regional implementation across all media disciplines, including a fully integrated market-leading digital and interactive capability across all markets.
With combined billings of U.S. $4.2 billion, Columbus has been designed for international marketers as the superior alternative to multinational media networks. Columbus combines strategic planning, best in class service, cutting edge research with full transparency, and an integrated approach. Two central hubs operate from London and New York to manage clients’ business and pitch for regional and global new business.
BLM’s Nick Lockett will oversee Columbus as Chairman, with day-to-day management by newly appointed managing director for Europe, Kate Williams, and managing director for the Americas, Oliver Maletz. Bill Koenigsberg of Horizon Media and Pierre Delagrave of Cossette Media will be Vice Chairmen of the venture.
The launch of Columbus follows independent research carried out by EMM International that found general dissatisfaction rife among international marketers with their multinational media agencies and a real opportunity for an alternative solution.
The research found that clients were concerned that consolidation among multinationals is reducing choice and quality of service, that networks lack transparency and that agencies are failing to integrate online and digital platforms into schedules.
Nick Lockett said: “Columbus is a new model for international media planning and buying. It’s the only serious alternative to multinational networks and is long overdue. We’re going on the offensive, taking the networks on at their own game with a tried and tested network of partners hungry to compete on the global stage.”
Bill Koenigsberg said: “Horizon has been looking for a viable path into the global media arena for years. Columbus provides the ideal solution. We are able to provide our clients with the best service in every market. We have been able to personally evaluate and select the best media agency in every market so that our clients don’t have to.”
Pierre Delagrave said: “Our clients are demanding international strategies and strong local implementation both in terms of online and offline media. Columbus enables us to respond to these needs in a very consistent manner across regions.”
USA: Horizon Media
Horizon is the world’s largest independent media and marketing services network with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Orlando. Clients include Geico, ING Direct, NBC Universal and AETN
Canada: Cossette Media
Cossette Media is the largest independent media services operations in Canada and part of the 15 largest groups in North America. Clients include Bell Canada, Coca-Cola, General Motors of Canada and Nike Canada.
The UK’s largest independent media and marketing agency. Clients include: Domino’s Pizza, Hero, Invesco Perpetual, MBNA, Suzuki, T-Mobile, and Thomas Cook.
Germany’s leading independent. Clients include BMW, O2, and Estee Lauder
The Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia): CMS (Creative Media Services)
Founded in 1997, CMS provides a full range of communication services. Clients include Adidas, Hyundai and L’Oreal.
Russia: Sovero Media
Since launched in 1996 Sovero Media has grown through a full range of media and advertising services. Clients include Pepsi Bottling Group, SAB Miller, Pernod Ricard, and Electrolux.
Launched in 1995, now Spain’s leading independent media agency. Clients include UIP, Dreamworks, and LAE (the state lottery).
Founded in 1978, France’s largest media independent. Clients include Adecco, System U, Bayer, and Sucre Union.
Italy’s first and largest independent communications agency, established in 1982. Clients include Reckitt Benckiser, Lavazza, and San Pellegrino.
Ireland: GT Media
Ireland’s fastest growing independent. Clients include Peugeot Cars, Pennys/Primark, and Citroen Cars.
Belgium: Schreiner & Van Bokkel
Belgium’s leading media independent. Clients include Newton 21, Sleepy, Delta Lloyd and M&S Mode
The Netherlands: Eurizon
Founded in 2001, one of the Netherlands’ fastest growing independents. Clients include Foot Locker, Converse, Kelly Services, and Amstel Breweries.
Japan: Office ING
Japan’s largest independently owned communications company, with offices in Tokyo and Osaka. Clients include Resorttrust, ART Corporation, and Fuji Beauty.