Colgate-Palmolive has announced that its agency partners, the list globally includes MEC, Y&R, VML, Wunderman and GHG, are going to join forces to create a single, dedicated operating unit Red Fuse Communications with the objective to fully integrate all communications, in order to engage with consumers in real-time, across all touch-points and to drive efficiencies.
Colgate-Palmolive agencies in India include MEC and Bates, amongst others. In India too, all key Colgate agencies are from holding company WPP. In 2012, Red Fuse will co-locate the existing agency teams in six key markets including Mumbai. The other markets earmarked for the year are New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Kansas City and Prague. An official press statement said that the intent is to expand and cover all geographies by mid-2013.
The model is on similar lines as Global Team Ford that has its operations in Gurgaon, Delhi in India. Global Team Ford or GTF as it is better known sees Mindshare, JWT, Wunderman and other units that are servicing the business, located in the same office premise. In essence, GTF operates as an extension of Ford’s marketing team. In a conversation on the sidelines of Cannes Lions earlier this year, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell had said that he believed a model such as this was the future of the communication industry because integrating the specialists was crucial to grow a client’s business today.
Details on who will lead Colgate-Palmolive’s dedicated unit in India could not be confirmed at the time of filing the report but sources informed exchange4media that the head is likely to be from the current leadership team of MEC South Asia.
Globally, Steve Forcione, the current WPP Global Managing Partner in charge of the Colgate account, will take on the additional responsibility of CEO for Red Fuse.
In a press statement, Nigel Burton, Colgate’s CMO said, “It goes without saying that we already have a close-knit partnership with our agencies. But we are excited about Red Fuse because we believe that co-locating all the partners will lead to bigger ideas and better work created and executed smarter and faster.”
Forcione added, “WPP is merging resources from across its premiere networks into one fully dedicated and exclusive team to help Colgate win on the ground. The many excellent people who work on the account around the world are eager to move to the Red Fuse structure, so they can develop big, innovative campaigns in real-time.”
Clarity on how Red Fuse is set up in India is expected in a week.