ICOM Combines with IN in First Ever Union of Indie Ad Agency Networks
by on July 15th 2012
Two of the world’s leading independent advertising and marketing communication networks are joining forces to form a stronger international resource for clients.
Effective today, the combination of the agency members of ICOM, based in Rollinsville, Colorado (USA), and IN, coordinated from Paris, will create the world’s largest independent network. The organization to be called ICOM+IN will have more than 100 agencies, the most number of agencies of any independent global network offering the broadest geographic coverage. The billings of the new network are expected to be US$3.5 billion with gross income exceeding US$500 million. Initially, both networks’ websites (www.icomagencies.com and www.inglobalnet.com will reflect the changes and continue to be updated.
“Never before has anything like this been done in the world of independent agency networks,” said Patrick Walhain, president of ICOM. “The most important outcome of this exciting endeavor is we will have more talent and expertise in many more markets. We will be the first independent network to truly focus on serving international clients, and by joining forces, we can offer clients a full range of options anywhere in the world. Here’s a situation where one plus one is greater than two.”
The new network will have an expanded global presence with integrated agencies in developed as well as new and emerging markets. Additionally, the network is enhanced by specialist agencies in areas such as digital, branding, social media, mobile, media, public relations, ethnic marketing – as well as experts in categories such as healthcare and luxury goods.
Initially, the new network Board will consist of all current Board members of the two organizations. In early 2013, a revised Board structure will be created. ICOM Executive Director Gary Burandt will become managing director of the new organization. Based in the U.S ., the network will be organized into five major regions: Asia/Pacific, Europe/Africa, Latin America, Middle East/ North Africa and North America with regional centers in Bangkok, Paris, Sao Paulo, Cairo and Atlanta.
“We expect a very smooth transition because our networks have similar legal structures, values, spirit of cooperation and dedication to the success of our clients,” said Miguel dos Santos, president of IN. “We are kindred spirits with the same high level of energy, flexibility and belief that the value of local knowledge and experience combined with the power of global partnerships can be an effective resource for any client, anywhere in the world. “
In many countries where both ICOM and IN have representatives, there is little overlap because many of the IN agencies are specialists in specific communications disciplines.
ICOM has a proven record of quality service to member agencies and experience in handling international campaigns over the years for clients such as Gallo wines, Navistar engines, Crocs shoes, Ebly foods, Atkins diet plan and Case construction equipment. “We have worked very hard to preserve a special culture of sharing, and we continue to do so,” Mr. Burandt said. In addition to the specialist agencies, IN brings a strong network of general agencies in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Members are expected to meet each other for the first time at regional meetings that ICOM had scheduled in Milan, Santa Monica and Bali in the fall.
About ICOM: Rollinsville, Colorado (USA)-based ICOM (www.icomagencies.com) is the most geographically balanced of international independent advertising and marketing communications networks with 70-plus member agencies in more than 50 countries. Founded in 1950 as the National Federation of Advertising Agencies, ICOM offers clients an alternative to the huge and increasingly similar agency groups. Today, the network has billings of US$2.5 billion and gross income exceeding US$390 million.
About IN: IN Network, coordinated from Paris (www.inglobalnet.com), offers broad geographic coverage with 65 agencies in 108 cities. IN was formed in 1992 by five agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.K. as a European Economic Interest Group (EEIG), a framework created by the European Economic Community for enterprises to be able to cooperate under the new European Community legal system. The organization expanded globally in 1998. IN network is now a British Limited Company by Guarantee.
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