ICOM, one of the world's largest global networks of independent advertising, media and marketing communications agencies, now offers extensive and complete media services from one end of the Americas—Canada—to the other—Argentina and Chile—with the appointment of Montreal-based Espace M as exclusive media agency for the Canadian market for ICOM.
Expanding ICOM’s global media capabilities is high on the network's priority list. The appointment comes within weeks of signing up Latin America's largest independent media agency group, Quiroga Media, which serves clients in 11 Latin American countries.
In the U.S., ICOM member agencies offer a variety of media services. For example, Chicago-based C-K Media, part of Cramer-Krasselt, also headquartered in Chicago, is an integrated media practice that includes connections planning, media strategy, national and local buying, search, paid social, programmatic, analytics and data sciences.
"Media services are an important component of our full complement of marketing communication services as independent media agencies are becoming a much desired competitive alternative to large holding groups," said ICOM Chairman Bob Morrison, also chairman & ceo, Morrison, Atlanta, Ga., USA. "Having Espace M round out our offering in the Americas is very significant for ICOM so that we can organize and manage our media business on a regional or global level just as we do with our creative business. Espace M can handle French-speaking media clients as well as English-speaking clients—something strategically important to us as we sometimes have media business coming into the network from our Paris-based media agency, Repeat Group. With its dual culture in French and English, Espace M will be a valuable asset."
Founded in 2007, Espace M has been committed from day 1 to providing clients with the strongest media plans possible based on rigorous analysis and compelling innovation. The agency offers a full menu of media services across all channels of media to a variety of clients including telecommunications and broadcasting, home goods, consumer durables and package goods. The agency is led by partners Frédéric Rondeau and Alexandre Duhaime, both experienced media professionals.
"For years, we have been looking for a way to help give us access to worldwide business opportunities while remaining independent," said Rondeau. "Independence is at the very core of our DNA, and any partnership that didn’t allow us to remain masters of our destiny was not considered. We strongly believe that an agency's growth is closely tied to its clients' growth, and that is best achieved through full control of the agency's operations at all levels."
ICOM presented Espace M with the opportunity it sought while also meeting another of the agency’s objectives of having a forum for an open exchange with other similar organizations facing the same challenges.
"Joining ICOM now connects us to other people and organizations with no other interest than to help each other. We are also thrilled to be able to reciprocate. That helps us build ties and strengthen our relationships with our new agency partners all around the world that are as committed to independence as we are. We firmly believe this helps make us better in what we do for our clients," Rondeau added.
Ken Whyte, ICOM's regional director for North America and president of Canadian agency Quarry, said there is great value for Canada as well. "The combination of Quarry (B2B) + Rethink (B2C) + Espace M (media) means we have a fantastic independent agency offer that addresses the whole Canadian market."
Membership in ICOM provides agencies the same benefits of a multinational global agency network while at the same time allowing ICOM members to remain independent. Principals are encouraged to develop ongoing relationships with other member agency owners like themselves in a non-competitive environment. Agencies applying for membership are carefully vetted to assure they share the same values, goals, and philosophy as other ICOM members.