Publicis Focus, the Publicis second-string shop which created a
stir last month with its raunchy advertising for the Nicky Clarke
haircare range, is to be repositioned as its parent agency’s
Established 12 years ago as a business-to-business and retail specialist
servicing small to medium-sized accounts, Focus is being revamped to
handle the increasing amount of international business run out of
Publicis in London.
Hewlett-Packard, Allied Domecq and Inmarsat are among the clients that
have handed the UK agency international assignments during the past 18
With a new name to reflect its changed status, Focus, under its managing
director, Nick Mote, will keep its current staff and accounts -
including the pounds 10 million Renault dealership business and the
pan-European account of the white goods manufacturer, Whirlpool - and
will continue competing for domestic business.
Rick Bendel, the Publicis chairman, denied the changes were a reaction
to last year’s loss by Focus of its substantial Shell business in
Scandinavia to J. Walter Thompson.
’Our business is becoming increasingly international and we need a
global division,’ he said. ’Focus has plenty of expertise in this area.
It’s not a merger.’
Industry sources claim Focus had been looking more isolated within the
Publicis group, particularly when compared to its high-profile ’sister’
shop, FCA!, which is linked to the Publicis-owned BMZ network in
Bendel was also adamant that the new arrangement would not increase
problems of client conflict. Focus handles Nicky Clarke, Churton cheese
and the brewer, Hall & Woodhouse, while Publicis has L’Oreal, Van den
Bergh and Guinness on its client list.
’Focus will be a completely separate division,’ Bendel said.