Mindshare Restructures With Eye on Integration

WPP Group’s Mindshare is embarking on a global restructuring that will integrate more than a dozen agency units into four core areas. Central to the realignment is the absorption of digital shop Mindshare Interaction into the main agency.

The four units — Client Leadership, Business Planning, Invention and Exchange — will help the agency move “beyond the realm of media solution,” the company said in a statement, to fully integrate content creation and consumer engagement into all aspects of operation.

This is the first restructuring of Mindshare since its founding in 1997.The shift will be phased in throughout 2008 to affect all 97 Mindshare offices in 67 countries by the end of the year.

The Client Leadership group will consist of senior agency executives charged with developing “C-level relationships” with clients and understanding their business objectives. These executives will have responsibility over P&Ls, integration and all deliverables.

The second group will use market insight and analysis to go beyond communications planning to provide business planning services. The team will help clients develop go-to-market strategies using real-time market data.

The Invention group is the agency’s de facto creative hub, integrating staff from entertainment, retail, events, digital and sponsorship creation. This group will also be responsible for the development of content.

The final group, Exchange, will be responsible for activating a client’s strategy in the marketplace, as well as overseeing budget and quality control.

In addition to the new structure, Mindshare has debuted a new tool called The Value Exchange, a real-time gauge of a client’s brand in the marketplace based on consumer interaction and sales data. The agency describes it as a NASDAQ for brands.

“Our vision is that we can actually map these consumer exchanges and assign a value to it, so we can tell clients where they stand in relation to other brands,” said North American CEO Scott Neslund.

Mindshare Interaction will cease to exist effective immediately, with all its staff and resources absorbed into the main agency. Neslund said there would be no layoffs related to the closing of the shop.

Earlier this week, digital shop AKQA announced it was integrating its search engine marketing services into its marketing and advertising services. Scott Symonds, AKQA’s executive media director, also described that move as one born of necessity thanks to changes in consumer behavior and the media landscape.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated there will be layoffs related to the restructuring.

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