Leo Burnett Melds Direct, Database and Digital Agencies

18 October 2002

The Publicisization of Bcom3’s units continues apace with the restructuring of Leo Burnett’s direct, database marketing and digital units into a single integrated entity branded iLeo.

The new network, which employs four hundred staff, was anticipated back in August before Bcom3’s takeover was blessed by its shareholders.

In the US and Canada, interactive unit Chemistri unifies with direct response specialist LB Customer Group, with one hundred staffers on the payroll and led by president/ceo Peter Steinhauser, former managing director and evp of the LB Customer Group.

Steinhauser denies this is a cost-cutting exercise, insisting: “There were really complementary services. We're not necessarily gaining huge efficiencies. This is less a consolidation than it is an aligning of complementary resources.”

iLeo North America will handle branded direct-response, plus online and offline campaigns aimed at driving customer acquisition, retention and loyalty for such marketers as Kellogg’s, General Motors, Hallmark and Procter & Gamble.

Elsewhere on the planet. iLeo will consolidate Burnett’s digital, direct and database assets in twenty-seven countries, including the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Brazil, Australia and Spain.

Operations will be split into three regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa under regional director Bant Breen; Sumeet Kanwar leads Southeast Asia in a mirror role; while Latin America is the remit of Giacomo Zandomenego. The regional trio will report directly to Leo Burnett chief operating officer Steve Gatfield.

A Leo Burnett spokesperson assured there would be no job losses “We're actually hoping to grow, not shrink,” he said.

Data sourced from: AdWeek.com; additional content by WARC staff