Arnold Comes Calling

Arnold Communications in Boston has approached Laughlin/Constable, Milwaukee and Chicago, about a deal to buy the agency, sources said.
Principals at both firms declined to confirm any negotiations. But Arnold chairman Ed Eskandarian said his expansion strategy begins in the Midwest and that he expects a deal here as soon as September.
“In the U.S., our priorities are the Midwest, West Coast and then New York,” Eskandarian said. “We’ve got plenty in the works.”
Laughlin/Constable president Dean Proctor said his agency is “very interested in looking at all appropriate means to complete the company’s mission, which include acquisitions or alliances, so we can strengthen our brand name, which we are not interested in erasing.”
Arnold was purchased in March by Snyder Communications in Bethesda, Md., for an estimated
$120 million in stock. Arnold, which kept its name, has an office in Milwaukee to handle regional McDonald’s work. L/C’s Milwaukee office does public relations work for McDonald’s. L/C entered Chicago in March when it bought N.W. Ayer & Partners’ office here. Combined billings were said at the time to total $150 million.
L/C, with clients including OshKosh B’Gosh and Bridgestone/Firestone, appears to fit Eskandarian’s criteria for potential purchases, which he said included “compatibility, talented creatives, strong marketing people, client relationships that are strong … essentially a base on which we can build.”