Publicis Groupe set to combine Burnett London with D'Arcy

D'Arcy London is set to be folded into Leo Burnett following this week's announcement by its Publicis Groupe parent that it will fold its fourth global network.

A marriage between D'Arcy and Burnett produces no account clashes and both agencies are Procter & Gamble and COI Communications roster shops.

Maurice Levy, the Publicis Groupe chairman, said: "D'Arcy and Burnett look like a reasonable fit in London."

Bruce Haines, the Burnett group chief executive, is expected to take charge of the combined operation. Jobs are likely to be offered to Barry Cook, D'Arcy's managing director, and to Nick Hastings and John Poorta, its creative and planning chiefs, but not at the highest management level. Cook is seen as key in sustaining the merged agency's relationship with COI.

Redundancies are likely among D'Arcy's 200 staff although Publicis will not be drawn on numbers. It remains unclear how D'Arcy's P&G business will be reassigned although Publicis, Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi will benefit.

Luca Lindner, the president and chief executive of D'Arcy's Europe, the Middle East and Africa operations, is in discussions about an alternative role.

- Perspective, News, p4.

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