Fallon McElligott has sold out to the French-owned Publicis Group
and will use the deal to build a network of agencies around the
The US-based Fallon has opened only two offices outside its Minneapolis
heartland since it was founded nearly 20 years ago, but it now plans to
expand rapidly into Asia and South America.
Fallon, which will retain its identity as a standalone brand, is the
sixth US company to come under the wing of the Publicis Group during the
Maurice Levy, the group’s president and chief executive, said: ’We now
have dollars 400 million of revenue from the US. The acquisition of
Fallon should settle any doubts about whether Publicis is aiming for the
While the London agency is claiming ’business as usual’, Levy announced
that Fallon will become the group’s second-string global network,
capable of handling conflicting accounts.
’The idea is to let Fallon expand alongside Publicis,’ Levy said. ’There
are obvious synergies between us and we can share in the distribution of
media.’ Publicis owns the global Optimedia network, while Fallon has no
Pat Fallon, one of the founders of the agency, said: ’This partnership
enables Fallon McElligott to go places and do things we couldn’t before
as an independent.’
The deal also includes Duffy Design and Interactive, the Fallon
McElligott design and e-commerce subsidiary, which was founded in
In the UK, the five managing partners will retain their shares in the
agency while the Fallon McElligott shares will be owned by Publicis. The
partners’ original stake in the London agency was 40 per cent, but they
are hoping to use their own money to increase this to 48 per cent.
Michael Wall, a managing partner at Fallon in London, said: ’We have
demonstrated that the Fallon brand can travel. We are a good
Levy has spoken to Louis Schweitzer, the chairman of Renault, a major
Publicis international client, about Fallon’s handling of BMW in North
America and Skoda in the UK. ’He sees no problem,’ Levy said.
’Advertisers accept that holding companies can have multiple networks.’