Arnold Shores Up McD




On Notice, Shop Tries to Stabilize $130 Mil. Biz
BOSTON–Looking to mollify jittery McDonald’s operators, Arnold Communications is adding ballast to its account management team.
Returning to the Boston agency is John Verret, who, prior to retiring in 1995, was nicknamed “Mr. McDonald’s,” owing to his years of service on the fast-food account.
Arnold has also hired Doner’s Jon Tracosas, an account executive noted for his relationship management, to succeed John Floegel as its New York office general manager.
Floegel, a former McDonald’s owner/operator, will stay on as a consultant to Tracosas and others at Arnold who work on the business.
All three executives report to Arnold chief operating officer Tom Lawson, managing partner on the combined $130 million McD’s account. Lawson has been working to shore up the management team since December, when the McDonald’s Boston cooperative put the agency on notice [Adweek, Dec. 13].
That action, said one agency source, was a “very loud wake-up call. [Arnold] is fearful that any discontent would ripple across all its franchises.”
Verret, who has been consulting since leaving Arnold, plans to continue that while working on McD’s. “I signed on as a long-term consultant,” he said. “They’ll either have to scrape me off like a barnacle or piss me off, but I am going to work on the [Boston McD’s] account as long as they need me.”
Pressure is also on Lawson, 61, to plan a successor. A source said Tracosas is expected to “evolve” into a larger role. Now, the focus is McD’s.
“Every month, we have between 25 and 200 owner/operators in a room to either sell a new program or tell how the existing one is doing,” said Lawson. “Jon is a wonderful relationship guy who has a great sense of long-term thinking.”
At Southfield, Mich.’s Doner, Tracosas had been executive vice president, director of client services since ’98. He is adman George Lois’ nephew and before joining Doner in ’95 to run its Baltimore office, Tracosas worked at Deutsch and Lois USA, among other shops. K