C&W beefs up its LA presence with Douglas buyout

LOS ANGELES: Cohn & Wolfe has made good on its promise to pursue expansion opportunities aggressively, acquiring the Los Angeles-based Douglas Consulting Group.

LOS ANGELES: Cohn & Wolfe has made good on its promise to pursue expansion opportunities aggressively, acquiring the Los Angeles-based Douglas Consulting Group.

A nine-year-old, $2 million firm known for its consumer branding expertise, Douglas has been merged into C&W's existing LA operations to form Douglas-Cohn & Wolfe (DCW). The newly combined agency, boasting roughly 25 staffers and revenues of approximately $3 million, will function as a sub-brand of C&W, specializing in lifestyle branding and marketing communications.

'This decision fits in with our current and future vision for the direction of the firm,' said C&W president Steve Aiello, who added that the merger 'provides us with a much stronger Los Angeles presence to serve our worldwide network.'

The acquisition makes C&W a top-15 player in the Los Angeles market, according to PRWeek's LA agency rankings (April 5). Current clients include Hilton Hotels Corporation, Del Monte Foods, Starbucks, Warner Bros. Home Video, Minute Maid and the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

Aiello said that his familiarity with Douglas co-founder/CEO Doug Buemi from their Burson-Marsteller days ensured a good fit in 'culture, ideological bent and philosophical approach.' Buemi will serve as CEO of DCW, and Douglas co-founder/president Patricia Godefroy (also a B-M alum) takes the reins as managing director of the LA office.

In addition, Buemi will be responsible for leading C&W's new business development and West Coast expansion.

Aiello said this expansion could very well mean a new Northern California outpost. 'We are very seriously looking into an office in the San Francisco area,' he said.

C&W, ranked as the 16th biggest firm in the US according to 1998 revenue, boasts outposts in New York, Atlanta and Copenhagen, among others.

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