Cordiant Communications Group is attempting to create a global branding and design network under the Fitch brand, which will be the second biggest network in the world.
The network is in the early stages of being built and is scheduled to launch in December. Paul Stead will be its global chief executive officer.
The move has been mooted ever since Cordiant bought Fitch’s then parent Lighthouse Global Network (DW 14 July 2000).
All of Cordiant’s design interests will adopt Fitch as an addendum to their existing brands, so Bamber Forsyth will become Bamber Forsyth – Fitch. The other consultancies in the network are: Added Value Design, Decision Shop, Leonhardt Group, Peclers, Primo Angeli and PSD.
The Bates design outfits in Norway, Hong Kong, Australia, South Africa and Brazil will be folded into the network and rebranded as Fitch, which will bring the total number of employees around the world to over 1000.
Although the ultimate aim is to build an overall Fitch-branded network, Stead stresses that it is not doing away with individual consultancy brands. ‘We are not dropping all the brands. Fitch will act as an umbrella brand with specialist [brands] beneath it.
‘We want to flag up the Fitch brand but where we can leverage our areas of speciality we will. For instance, Peclers occupies a unique position in forecasting for the fashion industry and Primo Angeli is famous for specialising in packaging. It would be pointless to rebrand them as Fitch,’ he says.