Centrade Cheil makes regional expansion top priority

Newsroom 22/02/2016 | 17:18

Centrade Integrated and Cheil recently announced a partnership in which Centrade Integrated will assume the role of licensed operator of Cheil for Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Albania. BR talked with Radu Florescu, CEO Centrade Cheil, about the opportunities of this partnership and what it will bring new for the advertising market.

Romanita Oprea


It has been a very interesting 2015 for Centrade. What were, in your opinion, the most important changes and how have you been tackling them?

2015 was a challenging year from many points of view.  As far as the operations were concerned, the agency continued to integrate its services and focused on expanding digital capabilities including mobile development, retail and e-commerce. This was an area of specific growth especially through projects commissioned from the United States and outside of Europe. We were particularly proud of the app developed from scratch for Point Pick Up in New York which was launched last year.  Other factors linked to new government regulations have had a negative impact on our business; however, we hope to leave that behind in 2016.


How did the idea of a strategic partnership with Cheil Worldwide come up? Who proposed to whom?

Cheil was always interested in the Balkan region.  They needed a quick solution to expand and our experience in the region, coupled with our on-the-ground know-how of how to get things done in Balkans presented a unique opportunity. This discussion had been going on for over 1 year.


Why was Cheil the best option for Centrade?

Cheil is well-known for their use of technology in communication. They are arguably one of the best networks, having through-the-line understanding implementing campaigns via technology. Taking a step back and looking at how fast technology is changing every day, their experience and know-how made them by far the best option for Centrade.  As mentioned earlier, we have a solid, experienced team, strong understanding of local consumer insight, excellent executional abilities on-the-ground. The fit made sense.


How do you see the fact that you will be the first agency in Romania that emerges regionally? How big of a responsibility is that?

Obviously, there remain challenges to coordinating 8-9 countries from one location.  We have been coordinating campaigns throughout the region on behalf of international clients for years already. The coordination role of operations raises the bar by another notch.  We feel confident that with the infrastructure we have, coupled with the in-house international experience, we will be able to cope.  I think it is fantastic opportunity for a Romanian-based firm to expand in the region.


How will this change your agency also on the inside in Romania? How will you develop in terms of budgets, employees, expertise, etc?

Obviously size and scope of work will change.  While the coordination role will be run through Bucharest, we have a terrific team already in place in the countries. They are experienced, knowledgeable and have a proven track record handling complex client business, such as Samsung.  As mentioned earlier, we will continue the process of integrating services, however, one added feature will be our ability to manage, cross-fertilization of resources, and leverage our costs for the benefit of international clients that have a footprint in each country.


What are your main goals for the first two years?

This is a big first step. Expanding our footprint in the region with intra-regional client campaigns is one of our top priorities.  We will do so by identifying best of class resources in our offices from the region and leveraging them to the benefit of our clients.


What are Cheil’s wishes for the Romanian market? What about for the regional market? (as they have expressed them to you)

Our wish is to continue to maintain the high standards that we have been used to in moving forward.  Providing a single point of contact covering all communication competencies is our utmost priority.


What brands will be entering your portfolio via this partnership?

Cheil is an agency of record for Samsung worldwide. They will be one of the first clients to be added to our portfolio. There are several other clients that will also be added and will be communicated in the next few weeks.


What are your expectations from this partnership and what are the challenges that come with working regionally?

We anticipate organic growth to be healthy .The first step that we will take is to consolidate the business and analyze where the opportunities to expand our services are. We are already discussing with several of our clients how best to roll out these opportunities across the region.


Radu Florescu Centrade Cheil
Radu Florescu Centrade Cheil
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