Wunderman has organized its German-speaking subsidiaries into one unit called Wunderman Central Europe, making it the first major direct marketing agency to organize its business on these lines in that region.
The unit encompasses nine offices and 600 executives across Austria, Germany and Switzerland, serving common clients including Lufthansa, Xerox, Mazda, Ford Motor Co., Philip Morris and Citibank.
“In order to get economy, you have to get scale,” said Daniel Morel, New York-based Wunderman chairman/CEO.
The Central European Wunderman offices will retain their individual identities while sharing campaigns, expertise and technology.
The new operating model in Central Europe mirrors the way Wunderman clients conduct their business in German-speaking markets after 9/11. The effort also takes cues from similar Wunderman cross-market cooperation in largely Spanish-speaking Latin America.
“These are marching orders coming from Irvine, [CA]; Detroit; Rochester and New York,” Morel said, referring to the headquarters of key Wunderman clients.
Wolfgang Haf was named CEO of Wunderman in Central Europe, with offices in Frankfurt, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. He reports to Morel and William Eccleshare, London-based CEO of Young & Rubicam Europe/Middle East Africa. Haf previously was Eccleshare's No. 2, with the title of president and chief client officer.
Germany is Wunderman's second-largest market in Europe after Britain. France, Spain and Italy follow.
Though Europe and North America are the biggest regions by billings, Latin America and Asia-Pacific show more growth for Wunderman.
Take China. The nature of the economy requires Wunderman to have 52 field offices in mainland China to serve clients like Nokia and Bayer. Most of the support is for merchandising and education of the trade in the absence of reliable data. In 2006, Wunderman will completely own its Chinese venture.