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Alternative and Summary

The case highlights the dilemma faced by Janet Carmichael, the global account director for The Leo Burnett Company Ltd (LB), following the dismal performance of the marketing campaign and launch of the Ontann Beauty Care (OBC) product. The company had launched the product in the Taiwanese and Canadian markets. Although the Taiwanese market had received the product well, the sales in the Canadian market had been poor. Carmichael has to decide whether she will change the communications management or leave it as it is. The case highlights the cultural differences that can exist in a seemingly homogenous market as well as the importance of communication in marketing and advertising campaigns.

The marketing efforts in Taipei and Toronto were different. The people in Taipei had more independence in how they structured their marketing campaign and this enabled them to make practical decisions. They had constant communications with all the respective offices. This was not the case with the people in Toronto office. They struggled to communicate with some of the people in the head office, and they did not have as much autonomy. The Canadian and the London markets are different, but the same marketing concept was used in both cases. Although the creative director had expressed her dissatisfaction, she decided to go along with the proposed ideas without making any changes. In addition, the Toronto team had to depend on direction and approval from the London team, and this prevented them from working at a faster rate and working more efficiently.

There is a need to change the marketing campaign in the North American market. Poor research, marketing methods, and pre-launch locations contributed to the failure in the Canadian market. On the other hand, the Taiwanese market performed well because the agency had superior autonomy, and it was able to adapt the campaign to the local culture. Decentralizing would be the best option in this case, as it would ensure that each market is covered. Although the London, American, and Canadian markets are considered westernized, some differences exist among them. Failure to recognize these differences led to failure in the marketing efforts. The European market should have a distinct advertising campaign that is reflective of the region. Watson’s idea to use a famous person to endorse the product will be effective in the Canadian market. The people will be more receptive to the product if they can identify with the person advertising it.

In addition, decentralizing and giving more autonomy to the Toronto office would help to ease the tension between the teams in Canada and London. The Taiwanese team was faster and more effective because it did not have to deal with most of these problems. LB has to sacrifice in terms of incurring additional losses following the failure of the first launch. The company had a responsibility to satisfy its client. It was tasked with the duty of ensuring that it conducted good market research and that it developed a successful advertising campaign. It stands to lose a major client if it does not rectify the mistakes done. Moreover, it will risk destroying its reputation if its advertising campaign fails a second time because of its failure to resolve the existing conflicts. It is the duty of the agency to inform its client on the best way forward. Therefore, LB should propose separating the European and North American markets so that the campaign can succeed.

Work Cited

O’Neill, Elizabeth. “The Leo Burnett Company Ltd.: Virtual Team Management.” Richard Ivey School of Business. 2003. Print

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