Hub Shop Seeks Technology Edge, Recruits Richards Account Exec
BOSTON–Seeking to fortify itself in the high-technology arena, Arnold Communications last week purchased two San Francisco shops and appointed a principal of The Richards Group to a top account management post.
The Boston-based agency bought the companies–Rockpile Interactive and Ingalls Moranville Advertising–with an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Terms of the deal could not be determined at press time. Arnold chairman and chief executive officer Ed Eskandarian estimated combined billings of the two shops at $60 million.
Rockpile will retain its identity and operate as a unit of Arnold Ingalls Moranville. Its founder, Ed Dilworth, becomes managing partner and president of the new entity.
“We want to continue to show our clients that we’re dedicated to the medium and that we won’t lose our focus becoming part of a traditional ad agency,” said Dilworth, who founded Rockpile after leaving LVL Communications, Palo Alto, Calif., two years ago.
Rob Ingalls and David Moranville become managing partners and creative directors. Ingalls, a copywriter, and Moranville, an art director, left Saatchi & Saatchi San Francisco in 1996 to open Ingalls Moranville as an offshoot of DavisElen in Los Angeles.
“This was a great offer and an opportunity for Rob and David on a national scope,” said Ingalls Moranville chairman Mark Davis, who relinquishes ties to the agency but remains chairman of DavisElen, which is unaffected by the sale.
Ingalls Moranville’s client roster includes US West, Qualcomm, Bally Gaming and Australian winery Lindemans/Southcorp. Rockpile’s clients include Berkeley Systems, Digital Chef and Furniture.com.
Another new addition that should bolster Arnold’s technology prowess is Ken Umansky, a seven-year veteran of The Richards Group in Dallas. Eskandarian said Umansky was recruited to oversee Bell Atlantic and help develop technology business.
At Richards, Umansky ran the PrimeCo. Personal Communications, Cyrix and Sage accounts. He got his start in advertising at Benton & Bowles, New York, and at one time was chief operating officer of Ketchum Advertising, Pittsburgh.
West Coast expansion has been a priority of Eskandarian since he sold Arnold almost a year ago to Snyder Communications, Bethesda, Md. Arnold operates a service office in Los Angeles for its largest client, Volkswagen of America, but has no significant operations outside the East Coast.
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