September 23, 2014

Haworth Marketing + Media & GroupM Announce New Partnership Model

Haworth Marketing + Media & GroupM Announce New Partnership Model


GroupM takes minority stake in Minneapolis-based agency


MINNEAPOLIS (Sept 23, 2014) – Haworth, an independent and employee-owned marketing and media agency based in Minneapolis, has announced a strategic partnership with GroupM, the media investment management division of WPP. 


Haworth will continue to offer personal, high-touch, creative-driven media – now backed by the industry leader in tools and data, thus linking the art of consumer connections with the most advanced marketplace analytics. 


“We believe this is a completely new, one-of-a-kind partnership that will bring tremendous value to our clients and our team,” said Gary Tobey, CEO of Haworth. “Our differences and assets will complement each other while Haworth’s culture and what we’ve built remains intact.”


Haworth and its clients will benefit from full access to GroupM’s resources in digital, analytics, trading and proprietary technology and tool development.  GroupM will also provide a global expansion platform for Haworth and its clients.  GroupM will take a 49% stake in Haworth. 


“We’ve admired what Gary and his team do for many years,” said Irwin Gotlieb, Global Chairman of GroupM.  “We believe we can add to the compelling Haworth proposition through GroupM’s tools, technology, insights and trading scale.  And in turn, GroupM’s agencies and clients can benefit from Haworth’s proven expertise in integrating brands into popular culture and content.”  


Founded in 1970, Haworth provides strategic marketing and media solutions to blue-chip clients and iconic brands, including Target, Ben & Jerry’s, Beats by Dre, Honeywell, DreamWorks, The Oscars and Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection.  Haworth’s differentiation comes from its focus on marketing, deep knowledge of clients’ business, positioning in the entertainment industry, and expertise in delivering creative media solutions.  They’ve earned multiple industry honors, most recently Adweek’s’ Media Plan of the Year, the MediaPost Creative Media Award, and Adweek’s Project Isaac Award for media innovation.  Haworth has reported media billings of ~$700MM. 






Comments from Haworth clients on the new partnership with GroupM: 


Omar Johnson, CMO at Beats Electronics:  “Our marketing strategy at Beats requires us to break the rules and challenge convention, which is why Haworth’s culture meshes so well with ours.  Their new model for media takes it to the next level as we continue to grow our global footprint.” 


Jeff Jones, EVP/CMO at Target:  “We've had a long and successful relationship with Haworth - their media expertise and innovative ideas have helped build and define Target's brand over the years. As we look to the future, we are excited about this new partnership with the WPP organization. The additional access to GroupM's specialist resources will be an added benefit to Target."  


Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks:  “We’ve enjoyed a remarkable partnership with Gary Tobey and his team at Haworth over the years.  Their creativity and commitment to innovation has earned them great respect within the entertainment community – and this newest innovation has great potential.”  



About Haworth:  With offices in Minneapolis and LA, Haworth is a full-service media agency that develops integrated media plans to maximize the impact of our clients’ investments.  We design inventive, disruptive engagement strategies that differentiate and optimize media pricing and ROI.  Work is developed and implemented across three divisions of the organization: Strategy, Activation and Performance. Haworth provides a complete range of research resources as well as activation/execution across all mass, digital and social platforms.  Additionally, Haworth’s specialty in entertainment marketing has benefitted our clients.  For more about Haworth, visit or follow us on Twitter @haworthmedia.


About GroupM:  GroupM is the leading global media investment management operation. It serves as the parent company to WPP media agencies including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, and Mindshare.  Our primary purpose is to maximize the performance of WPP’s media communications agencies on behalf of our clients, our stakeholders and our people by operating as a parent and collaborator in performance-enhancing activities such as trading, content creation, sports, digital, finance, proprietary tool development and other business-critical capabilities. The agencies that comprise GroupM are all global operations in their own right with leading market positions. The focus of GroupM is the intelligent application of physical and intellectual scale to benefit trading, innovation, and new communication services, to bring competitive advantage to our clients and our companies.



Lou Ann Olson, for Haworth



Cindy Kerber Spellman, GroupM



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