Kelly Clark, Chief executive officer

Report by Kelly Clark (above)
Chief executive officer

Maxus is an agency in transition. In 2008, we added more than 20 new accounts to our global roster. Ten new clients joined us in the US, in categories as diverse as entertainment, travel and financial services. In Australia we won Rebel Sport, a leading sports retailer; in Turkey we won MediaMarkt, Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailer; and we won Fiat’s business in 14 new markets across Europe.

Maxus India was named Media Agency of the Year at the annual Bangalore Advertising Awards. In the US, we won the Media Plan of the Year award for Welch’s from Mediaweek magazine, and the David Ogilvy Award from the Advertising Research Foundation for our work on Church & Dwight’s Arm & Hammer brand.

We’re proud of these accomplishments; but the steps we took in 2008 to lay the groundwork for our future were even more important.

We have ambitious plans to transform Maxus into a different type of agency that breaks through the conventional agency disciplines. Our aim is to combine the disciplines of communications planning and customer relationship marketing into a new model called Relationship Media – a model that is powered by creative media thinking and sophisticated, real-time customer data.

Our new vision is grounded in media, in all forms. We will stay connected to what people watch, read, listen to, drive by, download, interact with and distribute to their friends, to their families, and throughout their communities. But media today are increasingly ‘addressable,’ enabling our clients to identify, talk to, and build relationships with very specific communities and, increasingly, individuals. This gives us rich information about people’s attitudes, preferences and behaviors. Our clients are asking us to use the data delivered via addressable media to help them identify their most promising prospects and convert them to loyal, profitable customers.

open quoteWe have ambitious plans to transform Maxus into a different type of agency that breaks through the conventional agency disciplinesclose quote

To achieve this vision, we are strengthening our skills in areas like database management, digital marketing, e-commerce and customer segmentation. We have been hiring people who have these skills, and we are working with our sister companies – especially at WPP Digital – to accelerate our capabilities in these areas.

Expansion is central to our plans. To deliver our new model globally, we’re building an ‘indigenous network.’ Not a traditional top-down structure, but rather a nimble and aggressive partnership of national agencies that share a common vision, attitude and way of working.

We already have strong positions in some important markets – including India, China and Russia – where our agencies are run by smart, ambitious, local business people. We are well-represented in the other important growth markets in Asia and Eastern Europe.

In December we re-branded WPP agency BJK&E in the UK under the Maxus banner, and we did the same in Spain with CICM, another WPP agency. More developments are planned in Europe and North America in 2009.

We now operate in 30 of the top global markets and, through the resources of our parent GroupM, we can serve client needs in over 100 countries worldwide. And in every market, GroupM’s unmatched scale and trading expertise ensure our clients get the best access to media at the best prices.

I was named the agency’s first global CEO in October, and I’ve already visited more than 20 Maxus offices around the world. In each market, I’ve been inspired by our people’s passion, creativity and drive, and by the strength of our client relationships. With a compelling new vision, a clear plan for building our network and aggressive new business goals, 2009 should bring even greater success.