Advertising and Virtual Team

Topics: Advertising, Management, Brand Pages: 5 (1224 words) Published: October 28, 2013

Case Study Assignment: Assessment = 25%

Brief – Leo Burnett Company Ltd: Virtual Team Management

This briefing note accompanies the case IVEY 9B03M052 – The Leo Burnett Company Ltd.: Virtual Team Management. The case tracks 2.5 years in the development of a virtual team. The team’s members include employees of a global manufacturer of health and beauty products (OBC) and employees of an advertising agency (Leo Burnett) in three countries (England, Taiwan and Canada).

Case Overview
The decision-maker in this case is Janet Carmichael, global account director at The Leo Burnett Company (LB) in London, England. LB is a global advertising agency based in New York, and the London office is the regional hub for all of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Carmichael oversees the brands of one of the agency’s top three clients. OBC – a leading global manufacturer of health and beauty care products (the client’s company and product names have been disguised).

This client has just launched a new line of skin care products (under the brand name “Forever Young”) into the Canadian test market, in preparation for a global rollout. A global virtual team has worked on this brand under Carmichael’s leadership. Both the client and the agency have teams in London (the Global Brand Centre) and in each of the test markets, Canada and Taiwan. The teams have relied heavily on a variety of technologies for communication over the course of the year and a half that they spent in preparation for the brand launch.

Normally, once a brand has launched, it is customary for the Global Brand Centre to turn over the responsibility for the brand and future campaigns to the local market offices. In this case, however, the Canadian brand launch was not successful, and Carmichael must decide whether or not she should proceed with the expected decision to modify the virtual team structure to give the Canadian team more autonomy or whether she should maintain greater centralised control over the team.

Learning Objectives

1. To assess LB’s virtual team management model (its efficiency and sustainability) given the international business environment within which the firm operates. 2. To explore other team models or recommendations based on readings that would facilitate team management 3. To determine the liabilities the business faces in its ability to launch international products across different markets and cultures 4. To develop an action plan recommending what team structure and communications systems should be employed and what Carmichael’s next steps should be.


You are required to critically discuss the challenges facing this limited company in its business of being an international advertising agency going about its day-to-day business. You may use the following questions to help structure your submission.

Assignment Question(S)

1. Assume the role of an LB employee

2. a) What is your everyday work environment like (assume this would normally involve face-to-face teams)? Specifically, consider how you would fill your day, what the office environment would be, what would determine your work priorities, and the nature of your relationship with your colleagues and your client(s). And what is the overall business sector environment like that your business operates in? b) How is this different from your role as part of the Forever Young virtual team?

3. What are some of the difficulties that the Forever Young global advertising and communications team faced throughout the launch process? To what do you attribute these difficulties?

4. As Janet Carmichael, do you now decentralise the team? Why or why not?

5. What challenges, do you think, face the international advertising industry given the current economic environment?

6. You are invited to be interviewed for a senior post. You are asked to critique your experience as a...
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