South African media agency RMS Media is a founder shareholder of the newly launched Local Planet, a global media agency network comprising many of the world’s leading independent media agencies.
According to RMS Media CEO Rob Smuts, the new network has forged a winning formula – an alternative network comprising best-in-class, independent owner-managed media agencies from around the world, each with an equity stake in the global company.
As the world’s first and only privately owned media agency network, Local Planet’s difference is that it understands that business is personal and clients get the owners of agencies personally invested in their business.
The fact that the founding shareholder agencies are able to maintain their independence, ensures that they keep a local mind-set, along with the spirit and hunger of a start-up. At the same time, they are able to offer clients strong international capability and all the benefits of a network.
The new independent media agency network will continue to deliver locally relevant communication solutions, with no attempt to impose the centralised one-size-fits-all approach often employed by corporate networks. Even though brands and media platforms may be global, business and people are still local. The top-down, centralised approach to international media does not work because local market circumstances and opportunities are not considered.
“The key to Local Planet’s international success will be our ability to compete and win locally,” says Smuts, “In building a genuine alternative global media network from the ground up, the executives who grew their successful agencies into market leading independents are buying in to the network – not selling out! As a result, the loss of key skills that generally follows a corporate buyout is avoided. The local-up approach brings together the skills capabilities and perspectives that exist in media today to deliver where it matters.”
Building upon foundations established by Columbus Media International, Local Planet operates in over 40 markets across the world and accesses a team of 3000 media experts. It includes the renowned Horizon Media in the US, 7stars in the UK, Spain’s Zertem Communication Group, Italy’s Media Italia, Germany’s pilot, France’s CoSpirit MediaTrack, Sweden’s Tre Kronor and India’s Percept Media among its founder shareholder agencies. The network agencies currently work with some high profile brands including Geico, Capital One, Nike, IKEA, Viacom, Pfizer, H&M and Kayak.
In addition to bringing together leading independent media agencies from around the world, Local Planet also boasts highly experienced leadership. Martyn Rattle, formerly Global CEO of Vizeum and Global Chief Client Officer of Aegis Media, has been named Global CEO of Local Planet, while Bill Koenigsberg, President, Founder and CEO of Horizon Media has been named Chairman. Moreover, all the main shareholder agencies’ founders and leaders will sit on the newly formed Local Planet Group Board, leveraging the talents and experience of some of the foremost names in the media industry.
Of the leadership of the new global network, Smuts says, “The beauty of our structure is that the very same leaders, who invested their passionate energy in building their own successful agencies, continue to lead the new network into the future.”
The Local Planet network has stated that it will be lean, agile and devoted to client service and media solutions on the ground, and is committed to providing its international clients with a level playing field in accessing international strategy, value, transparency, technology and talent.
“We know that many international marketers are looking for an alternative to the holding company model, a more agile and service oriented solution built around their specific needs”, says Rattle. “The shared experiences of starting successful independent agencies from scratch is an important factor behind Local Planet and its culture. Each one of Local Planet’s agencies has started, grown and succeeded by fighting on behalf of their clients. We are now bringing that start-up, independent spirit to our global network. We are looking forward to working together with international clients in the pursuit of shared success.”
Having successfully traded in South Africa’s competitive media market for 23 years, RMS Media not only brings a wealth of local market knowledge and expertise to the new international network, but brings South Africa onto this global playing field. At launch, Local Planet network agencies boasted combined billings in excess of US$10 billion.
“Aligning RMS with Local Planet will allow a greater number of clients to experience our personalised service and unique brand of innovative communication solutions. As a founder shareholder agency it is really exciting to build a genuine alternative media agency network from the start,” Smuts concludes.
For more information visit: www.localplanetmedia.com