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. Billings for 2017 are estimated at around $7.5bn. Horizon has a strong presence in broadcast media, representing several NBC cable networks, and has been associated for many years with high-spending auto insurer Geico. More recently it has diversified into other areas such as sports and event marketing. However arguably its most impressive achievement was the formation of a new media joint venture, Canvas Worldwide, that took control of Hyundai Kia's North American media from the beginning of 2016, and also extend Horizon's influence globally for the first time.
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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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2014: Some observers have interpreted comments in the WSJ from Bill Koenigsberg, CEO and owner of Horizon Media, the largest remaining media independent in the US, as an implicit invitation to open talks. Rather than vow never to sell, as some independents still do (like creative agency Richards Group), Koenigsberg suggested merely that he is waiting for the right offer: "My ears are always open," he said. "I just have not completely fallen in love and still have decided not to get married." Yet. Recent account wins including Burger King and Vonage, on top of long-term cornerstone client Geico, pushed Horizon's billings up to $4bn last year, making it a tempting morsel, especially to a buyer seeking greater weight in the US. Separately, Horizon announced the appointment of Charlie Rutman, a former head of both Carat and what is now Havas Media in the US, as managing partner.
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