Euro RSCG merges bottom line of all US comms shops

NEW YORK: Euro RSCG Worldwide has lifted individual P&L responsibility from its 11 US marketing communications firms, combining them into two, fully integrated operations comprising all disciplines from PR to direct marketing to advertising.

NEW YORK: Euro RSCG Worldwide has lifted individual P&L responsibility from its 11 US marketing communications firms, combining them into two, fully integrated operations comprising all disciplines from PR to direct marketing to advertising.

The larger of the two, with $2.4 billion in billings, is Euro RSCG MVBMS Partners, whose name is based on component ad agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG. The PR capabilities in the outfit will come from the slightly, but strategically, renamed Euro RSCG Middleberg.

MVBMS is headed by Ron Berger, formerly CEO of the ad agency.

The agencies will now operate as one with database firm ASL, DM firm Devon Direct, direct response TV firm Tyee MCM, interactive agency Circle, management consulting firm Meridian, sales promotion agency Impact and Hispanic agency MVBMS Hispanic.

The second entity to be created is the $1.9 billion Chicago-based Euro RSCG Tatham Partners, headed up by Gary Epstein, formerly CEO of ad agency Euro RSCG McConaughy Tatham. PR will be provided by a fledgling group headed by Midwest PR vet Bryan LeMonds, which was created specifically for the new agency.

For now, the component agencies will still operate simultaneously under their old names - with "Euro RSCG

now prefixing them - as well as contribute to the new, single entity - a "two-business-card

model. The heads of each, including Don Middleberg, will belong to the management teams of the new one.

But as time goes by, said chairman and CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide Bob Schmetterer, the anticipated success of the new agencies will cause these existing brands to phase out. It is hoped that the allegedly low client-conflict count will mean that agencies will work to parlay their discipline-specific accounts into full-service ones.

Schmetterer believes that his move shows Euro going beyond the agencies that pay lip-service to integration, and putting its money where its mouth is. "We've removed the individual P&Ls so that clients realize this isn't just a loose concatenation of agencies you bring together to answer an RFP,

he said. "Now that there is a single P&L, everyone's incentive is the same."

Middleberg promised that his PR team, with the others, would "operate as closely to being a single agency as possible. PR is often the stepchild, but the new firm breaks that down, and offers a financial incentive."

Schmetterer added, "There is no individual reward for Don to hammer pure PR plays. He, and other agency leaders, will brainstorm with the superagency."

A rep from each component agency will relocate to a designated office space, shared with a newly assigned senior group staff. Over time, more geographical rationalization will occur.

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