Horizon Media is the only remaining sizeable independent media planning and buying shop in the US. Against the odds, it appears to be more than holding its own against the combined might of the international networks, bigger by local revenues than many of its better-known global rivals. AdAge actually ranked it as the single biggest media agency in the US in 2020 by revenues. An estimated total of $464m put it above every other competitor. Billings for 2020 were over $9bn. Headquartered in New York, there are also offices in Los Angeles and Toronto. Crucially, Horizon has a strong presence in broadcast media, and has been associated for many years with high-spending TV advertiser clients, not least Geico, Capital One and Burger King. More recently it has diversified into other areas such as sports and event marketing, multicultural, media barter, content development and creative services. However arguably its most impressive achievement was the formation of a media joint venture, Canvas Worldwide, that took control of Hyundai and Kia's North American media from the beginning of 2016, and also extended Horizon's influence globally for the first time. Another joint venture, 305 Worldwide, is a multicultural partnership with the rapper Pitbull. Other satellite units include Scout sports & entertainment marketing, creative services division Treehouse and digital practise UNCVR. Horizon Next is a separate unit within the main media agency specialising in smaller "challenger" clients. Bill Koenigsberg, the original founder of the business, remains president & CEO, and was celebrated as Ad Age's Ad Executive of the Year in 2012. He has collected a succession of such honours since then. In 2014 he was the first representative of any media agency to become chair of the 4As advertising association (until 2017), and was inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame in 2019. Horizon has no offices of its own outside the US but is represented internationally by partner association Local Planet, comprising 58 leading independents spread across 73 countries. Partner agencies include Vision7 in Canada, the7stars and Goodstuff in the UK, Testa's Media Italia in Italy and BlueFocus in China.
Capsule checked 21st May 2021
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets.
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Historical snapshot information for Horizon Media
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Aug 2019: Horizon Media has teamed up with Cuban-American rapper Pitbull - real name Armando Christian Perez - to launch a new multicultural marketing agency under the name 305 Worldwide. Staff from Horizon's existing multicultural team will transfer to the new unit, which is minority owned by Pitbull, who will assume the title chief creative officer. The agency will specialise in content creation, primarily for the Latin market, but also for all ethnic communities.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th Jul 2016: Independently owned Horizon Media captured US duties for LG's appliances, electronics and mobile phone divisions, with combined billings of almost $420m. Mindshare was the incumbent agency.
Adbrands Weekly Update 21st April 2016: A group of the world's biggest remaining independent media agencies have teamed up to form a global partnership network, to be named Local Planet. Founder partners include Horizon Media of the US, the UK's the7stars, Armando Testa's Media Italia in Italy, Percept Media of India and France's CoSpirit MediaTrack. Martyn Rattle, former chief client officer for Dentsu Aegis Media, was named as the first chief executive of Local Planet, with Horizon founder Bill Koenigsberg as chairman. "We know that many international marketers are looking for an alternative to the holding company model," said Rattle, "a more agile and service-oriented solution built around their specific needs... Each one of Local Planet's agencies has started, grown and succeeded by fighting for and 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."
Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Aug 2015: Horizon Media, the last remaining media independent of size in the US, agreed an important partnership deal with Innocean Worldwide, the global creative network controlled by carmaker Hyundai Kia. Rather than accept a buyout offer, Horizon becomes equal partner in a newly created media joint venture, Canvas Worldwide that will take control of the combined local media for the Hyundai and Kia brands, worth around $700m in billings, from January 2016. (The accounts move from Interpublic's struggling Initiative network). As the name suggests, the new unit will ultimately extend Horizon's reach globally. In a statement the partners said: "Canvas will bring a new, entrepreneurial team that is not associated with any media holding company, providing independent thought and action... The independent nature of Canvas is a perfect fit for the bold, entrepreneurial nature of Hyundai."
Adbrands Weekly Update 4th Sept 2014: The week's biggest account assignment was the transfer of media duties for CNN, Cartoon Network and most of the other cable channels under the umbrella of Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System. The $150m account moves from MediaVest to indie Horizon Media, already something of an expert in media planning and buying for cable strands.
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