Seeking Influence And Recognition, Bloomberg Looks To Ad Agencies For Help

Even before Bloomberg agreed to buy BusinessWeek, the company wanted to be known for more than just operating financial news terminals — and was looking for an ad agency or agencies to do just that. The BW acquisition adds a high-profile magazine and news website to Bloomberg’s own consumer-facing offline and online offerings, including its often-overlooked 24-hour cable channel, and perhaps a new dimension to the search for help refurbishing its corporate branding and design, developing an ad campaign, creating events and generating demand, described by AdAge and Mediaweek.

Bloomberg’s deadline for the “requests for information” submissions was two weeks ago. Although the RFI didn’t specify BW, it’s assumed that the magazine will be a big part of any campaign Bloomberg embarks on. But it’s by no means the only area Bloomberg will want highlighted. The agency-of-record Bloomberg settles on will be tasked with building up attention for the company’s newswire, the cable network Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg radio on XM and Sirius (NSDQ: SIRI), and for its existing magazine, Bloomberg Markets. With revenue growth for Bloomberg’s main terminal business slowing, the company has been looking for ways to quickly ramp up its other offerings. To combat any declines in market share, especially competition from the likes of Thomson Reuters (NYSE: TRI) (NSDQ: TRIN), the Bloomberg terminal will also get a good deal more marketing attention.

Bloomberg prefers that its agency partner be based in New York, but it’s not limiting its campaign to the U.S. Bloomberg also requires that the ad shop it hires has access to markets in European, the Asia Pacific region and Latin America. The stepped-up marketing push comes after the hiring of Bloomberg’s first chief marketing officer, former Sears CMO Maureen McGuire, last May.

It’s not clear what sort of spending Bloomberg has in mind for the campaign, although it likely would be more than the $1.3 million Nielsen says the company spent on media last year, or the $2 million in spending two years ago. About half of the ’08 ad spend was devoted to promoting the cable TV and business services.