Mars Opts for Teamwork

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MARS OPTS FOR TEAMWORK

Secretive confectioner Mars has made a key behind-the-scenes move to establish a formal sales promotion agency roster.

Four mystery firms are believed to have been picked as Mars gears up to push its multi-million dollar sponsorship of both the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.

Mars' business sector manager Allan Leighton -- equivalent to marketing controller in other firms -- is understood to have personally visited at least ten consultancy hopefuls. In the past, most agencies' contact with Mars has been at brand manager level only -- at its Slough HQ.

Mars is now said to have allocated major slices of business to two consultancies and smaller amounts to two others. The work has been shared out by brands and specific projects.

Industry sources say Leighton wanted to inject greater continuity into Mars promotions, boost strategic input and discourage agencies from taking on rival business. And he felt it impossible to take firms fully into the notoriously publicity-shy Mars' confidence while working with them on an ad hoc basis only.

One observer describes Mars' move as an attempt to "instil discipline". …