FCB : Foote Cone & Belding

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The FCB name was reintroduced in 2014 for the network previously known as Draftfcb. That business had been created in 2006 from the merger by Interpublic of two of its existing subsidiaries: direct marketing specialist Draft Worldwide and famed creative advertising network Foote Cone & Belding. Draft had for several years been one of Interpublic's most consistently profitable brands, and the merger was designed to provide added strength to FCB which, while a strong performer in the US, remained weak outside its home market. Under both its names, the resulting business is a fully integrated worldwide marketing services giant offering a broad range of disciplines from traditional creative to direct, digital and sales promotion, all under a single management team. Though it is rarely given full credit for the fact, the creation of Draftfcb anticipated by several years the process taken more recently by several other networks, notably Ogilvy and Publicis Groupe agencies. Yet the combined business got off to a terrible start when it was fired from the Wal-Mart account at the end of 2006 after just three months. Despite that shaky debut, Draftfcb evolved into what was said to be one of Interpublic's more profitable subsidiaries by the end of the decade. More recently, though, the loss of SC Johnson and other major accounts in 2011 and 2012 made something of a dent in performance. The appointment of a new management team has resulted in a marked improvement in fortune since 2013.

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 24th Aug 2017: Ads of the Week: "Circles". These days it's probably impossible for any ad to reach the iconic status of some of BBH's classic work for Levi's from the 1980s and 90s, and that once-mighty brand has wrestled with plenty of challenges of its own since then. But current agency FCB's work for Levi's still achieves flashes of sheer brilliance. The ads don't come along very often but they're always worth a look when they do appear, like this lovely new film which manages to celebrate not just denim, but also the joy of dance and the many facets of our multicultural world. Time to get up and get down! 

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th May 2017: FCB is shuttering its office in France, after agreeing a non-equity partnership earlier this year with Paris-based independent Change Communication. FCB's main client in France was Beiersdorf, and the team handling this business has transferred to Change, which will become the FCB network's official creative partner in the country. FCB's remaining ten or so staff are leaving this week. This mirrors FCB's position in Australia, where its local office was closed several years ago in favour of a similar arrangement with local independent AJF Partnership.

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Apr 2016: The Clorox Company ended its 20-year association with DDB, dividing creative and digital duties for all brands between FCB and Dentsu Aegis Network, mainly McGarryBowen. FCB will take over all the company's cleaning products, as well as Glad food wrap and trash bags. McGarryBowen gets a collection of lifestyle brands including Burt's Bees cosmetics, Kingsford charcoal and Brita water filters. However it won't handle Clorox-owned salad dressings Hidden Valley and KC Masterpiece, because of a conflict with its existing assignments for Kraft. Those will handled by a separate Dentsu Aegis unit, still to be confirmed.

Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Feb 2016: FCB overhauled its New York office, previously known as FCB Garfinkel as a nod to CEO and industry figurehead Lee Garfinkel, appointed just over two years ago. However, Garfinkel is now leaving (along with CCO Eric Cosper) to pursue personal creative projects. Instead Karyn Rockwell - who heads Interpublic's Mondelez business - was appointed as CEO of the renamed FCB New York, supported by Ari Halper (ex-Grey NY) as CCO.

Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Aug 2015: It was also another good week for FCB, with two significant wins. FCB South Africa was awarded local and global duties for South Africa Tourism, taking over that account for struggling WPP unit Ireland Davenport, which has now lost its three biggest accounts in the space of three weeks. Meanwhile FCB Chicago will take over creative for US lender Lincoln Financial Group from B2B agency Gyro.

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Free to all users | see full profile for current activities: [See here for the history of FCB]. Before its acquisition by Interpublic in 1995, Draft Worldwide was something of a shuttlecock in the global marketing industry, changing owners several times in its first two decades. The agency was originally the in-house marketing department for US insurer Bankers Life & Casualty. In 1978, that financial services group spun off the department as an independent agency, with its $7m account as the new company's biggest piece of business. The agency was run by former marketing director Jim Kobs under the name Kobs & Brady. The young Howard Draft was then an account executive, but he gradually worked his way up the corporate ladder. In 1982 he was given responsibility for launching the company's first office in New York, on behalf of new client HBO. Four years later he was named group president. The same year, 1986, Kobs & Brady was acquired by agency giant Ted Bates, becoming Kobs & Draft. Bates was itself snapped up by Saatchi & Saatchi a matter of months later. Backed by Saatchi's, Kobs & Brady opened its first international office, in Madrid, Spain, a year later. Howard Draft became chairman and CEO in 1988, and the company name was changed to Bates, Kobs & Draft.

In the break-up of the Saatchi Group in 1995, Draft mounted a management buy-in, taking the agency independent again as Draft Direct Worldwide. Before the end of the year, however, Interpublic came knocking and added Draft to its own swelling portfolio. Under Interpublic's wing, the agency added a number of additional subsidiaries to its ranks. In 1997, Draft took over Lee Hill Inc, when its own parent Marketing Corp of America was acquired by IPG. Over the next 12 months it acquired a string of agencies in the US and Europe including sales promotion agency DL Blair, Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners (ABP), KBA Marketing, integrated agency Vogt-Wein, Gingko (Canada), H2O (France), Feedback (Belgium) and M&V (Germany). The new name of DraftWorldwide was adopted in 1998.

During 2000, Draft acquired a series of other marketing agencies including leading UK research consultancy HPI, Scottish marketing group The Boroughloch Agency, international brand consultancy AG Worldwide/Surge Interactive and Swedish integrated agency Trampolin. Other purchases included youth marketer Sloan Group, events marketing agencies Group III, e-services agency Capita Technologies, and Chilean outfit Creactiva. The agency also absorbed Chicago direct marketer Columbian, previously part of the Lowe Lintas group.

In 2001, Draft was aligned with Lowe & Partners within Interpublic as part of The Partnership, a loose alliance of more entrepreneurial agencies. Later that year, AG Worldwide was sold back to management (becoming Arnell Group). Surge, Group III and Capita were merged to form Surge at DraftWorldwide. Originally designed to highlight the agency's interactive offering, the Surge brand was gradually phased out during 2002, replaced by the main Draft brand. Premium Surge was set up at the end of 2001 to market premium gifts after Draft recruited several executives from failing Simon Worldwide. Most of these sub-brands were phased out in 2002 and 2003.

Although the wider Partnership concept quickly fell by the wayside, Draft continued to work closely with Lowe. Between 2001 and 2002, Lowe's Lowe Live direct marketing network was absorbed into Draft in the US and UK. The following year, Interpublic was reported to have considered a full merger of Lowe and Draft. Instead, the group eventually opted for a consolidation of the two networks' back-office functions, with consulting unit Lowe Plus Draft formed to encourage cross-fertilisation of client business. However in many countries, the below-the-line operations of the local Lowe office adopted the Draft brand. During 2005, for example, the Lowe Forever brand in Scandinavia, and Lowe RMS in Canada were both rebranded as Draft.

In 2006, however, the partnership with Lowe was suspended, and instead Draft was given effective control of the storied FCB network. This merger was widely perceived as a personal triumph for Howard Draft, who was given responsibility for running the combined business. Things only got better during 2006 when the agency scored a clutch of prestigious awards at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and was then awarded the hotly contested advertising account of Wal-Mart in October. Events move fast in the advertising industry, however, and less than three months later, triumph had changed to embarrassment when Draftfcb was ignominiously fired by Wal-Mart, along with Julie Roehm, the Wal-Mart exec who had handled the review.

The resulting brouhaha became the talk of the industry over the following winter. The specific reasons for the sacking were not initially made public, but it was eventually disclosed that Draftfcb managers and Roehm had contravened Wal-Mart's code of conduct during the course of the review. In pursuit of pitch victory, Howard Draft had gone out of his way to flatter Roehm with gifts and perks, which she failed to decline firmly enough for the purposes of Wal-Mart's strict rules on supplier relations. Later it was alleged that Roehm and a subordinate in Wal-Mart's marketing department had been having an affair, and that they they had even discussed jumping ship from the retailer to join Draftfcb. Wal-Mart's board was also said to have been offended by a smutty house ad produced by Draftfcb in which it crowed over the awards it had received at Cannes with a picture of two lions mating, above the slogan "It's great to be on top." Allegations and lawsuits flew back and forth, leading to the effective destruction (by her own hand) of Roehm's once-promising career, and red faces all round at Draftfcb. The agency made up in part for the humiliation of its loss by subsequently winning rival discounter Kmart.

There was a sudden and entirely unexpected shakeup of the agency's North American management team in summer 2010. Mark Modesto, a 30-year company veteran, had been promoted to president of Draftfcb North America the previous October, but left the company abruptly in August 2010, along with two other senior officers. Their sudden departures were said to have resulted from internal politics, possibly associated with the fact that at the same time Dana Maiman, CEO of Draftfcb Healthcare, was promoted to a wider role as CEO of Draftfcb New York. (She surrendered that role in 2013). See full profile for current activities

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