SkyNetGlobal gets Leo Burnett to advertise to the world

Global wireless network provider SkyNetGlobal has signed a worldwide partnership agreement with advertising agency Leo Burnett.

Under the two-year agreement, Leo Burnett will provide services including the management of a $27 million global advertising campaign, public relations, marketing, and sponsorship to the tune of $3.5 million. In return SkyNetGlobal will issue 10 million standard shares to Leo Burnett, giving the agency a 2 per cent equity stake in the company, said Jonathan Soon, SkyNetGlobal's CEO.

SkyNetGlobal, which launched in Australia only three months ago, plans to build a wireless network in 100 cities worldwide to provide wireless services to business travellers.

According to Soon, SkyNetGlobal set out to find a partner willing to become a part owner in the company. "As a non-traditional e-business, SkyNetGlobal isn't interested in standard customer-supplier agreements."

Rob Clarke, Leo Burnett's CEO, said SkyNetGlobal is an attractive partner because of future e-commerce and e-business opportunities. "The product is going to be a major global success," he said.

Clarke said much of Leo Burnett's work with SkyNetGlobal will be managed from the Australian office, but affiliated offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, France, Germany and the US will be involved.

Soon said the agreement will be revisited after two years, but he "hopes to continue the partnership".

Soon also said more announcements can be expected from SkyNetGlobal over the coming weeks. "Things have progressed very rapidly [since launching]. We are in the final stages of selecting equipment, partnerships and carriers . . . we are on track in terms of the rollout of the network."

Local clients of Leo Burnett include Subaru, Woolworths, AMP and Optus Internet.

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