A new media planning agency claiming to be the first in the US to include creative and account planning is being launched by British-born Paul Woolmington, who stepped down as vice-chairman of The Media Edge in January [WAMN: 12-Jan-01].

Dubbed Media Kitchen, the shop will work with Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners in New York, advising its clients on where to advertise and how their choices affect their brands. On top of Kirshenbaum’s client list – whose billings total $450 million – the new agency will seek business with other agencies and advertisers.

Media Kitchen claims to buck the current trend toward consolidated media planning and buying giants, such as MindShare or Starcom MediaVest. “I'm staggered by the extent of the megalomania of all this media consolidation,” said Woolmington. “Creative agencies, and even some clients, are saying ‘We’re really down the pecking order with these giants.’”

The move mirrors developments in the UK, where smaller agencies such as Unity and Michaelides & Bednash have sprung up, offering strategic and brand advice. Woolmington has been working on the new project since he left The Media Edge.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)