Publicis absorbs FCA! into its London agency

The Publicis group is pulling down the curtain on its troubled FCA! subsidiary in the UK and folding it into its London agency.

The Publicis group is pulling down the curtain on its troubled FCA! subsidiary in the UK and folding it into its London agency.

The demise of the integrated communications specialist had long been predicted after its failure to grow in line with market conditions.

As a result, Publicis will gain an estimated pounds 30 million billings boost as it takes over the FCA! client list, which includes Fidelity Investment Services and Bass Taverns.

The pounds 2 million Hotpoint washing machine business, which would clash with the Whirlpool account within Publicis, will move to Saatchi & Saatchi, the latest addition to the Publicis empire.

About 40 FCA! staff are joining Publicis, although it is expected that a number of jobs will be lost.

The merger is in line with the declared intent of Maurice Levy, the Publicis president, to examine the future of each FCA! operation throughout Europe following his decision to concentrate on the development of three group brands - Publicis, Saatchis and Fallon.

FCA! in London attracted considerable publicity. However, Publicis chiefs are thought to believe that FCA!'s hype masked its reality.

The absorption of FCA! coincides with a new division of responsibilities at Publicis in the UK where Richard Hytner, the chief executive of the Publicis agency, extends his role with his appointment as group chairman.

Publicis said the promotion was intended to allow Rick Bendel, the current group chairman, to concentrate on his role as director covering the UK, Nordic and Baltic regions and to sustain high-level relationships with major clients such as Hewlett-Packard and Wal-Mart.

Hytner said: 'I will work across our top client base to drive the integrated agenda. This role gives me the freedom to do it.'



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