Independent agency network Local Planet has restructured to establish a global presence to compete against the industry incumbents.
The group, which counts The7stars and Goodstuff among its members, claims to have partnered Local Planet entities with leading media agencies around the world, all of which will be jointly owned by Local Planet International and the local partner agency.
Dr Wayne Fletcher, formerly of Naked Communications, McCann World Group and Aegis, has been appointed as global chief strategy officer to help deliver on the global concept. He will work with global chief executive Martyn Rattle.
In addition, Uli Kramer, founding partner of Pilot in Germany, has expanded his responsibilities to become global chief digital officer of Local Planet. Sandra Sydow, most recently global business director at PHD, joins as global media and business director.
Local Planet has also appointed five regional directors in Maria Sol Terzi (LATAM), Simona Tencheva (CEE), Gary Tang (APAC), Rob Smuts (SSA) and Bipin Pathak (MENA).
The group, built on the power of a local touch in marcomms, will look to attract clients with an emphasis on transparency, backed by a zero-rebate policy and a full disclosure of fees and margins. Just two years after being founded, the group boasts 51 agencies in 68 markets worldwide, with combined client media billings of more than $14bn.
Rattle said: “When we launched Local Planet two years ago, our vision was to create a genuine alternative to the global holding company media agency networks by offering international clients all the benefits of a global network but with the spirit, drive and focus of an entrepreneurial business, prioritising client outcomes, rather than external shareholder demands.
“This new structure ensures that our international clients can feel even more confident in the quality and consistency of service that we can provide to them across multiple markets around the world.
“Our international clients are increasingly those who feel that they have not been prioritised by the large media holding groups and who are looking for an entrepreneurial, nimble and transparent agency partner. These clients deserve the best talent working on their business, irrespective of their size.
Fletcher added: “Independent media thinking and the freedom to operate transparently for clients is a compelling offering and one we believe that all clients deserve. Many of them are aware that as an industry, we have sleepwalked into the 21st century with 20th-century business models, practices and thinking. The interest in Local Planet is because we are offering a genuinely alternative approach.”
Among its agency shareholders are Horizon Media, The7stars, Goodstuff, CoSpirit MediaTrack, Zertem Communications Group, Pilot, Media Italy, Tre Kronor, The Media Shop, Blue Focus Communications Group, Effective Media, Mediaxplain and Ignis Media.