Arnold to Withdraw from SF

BOSTON — Arnold is closing its San Francisco office, agency executives said.

Projects with Gulf Lubricants, Keynote Software and Arraycom will be wrapped up in the next few weeks.

Office president Jim McGinn and CD Stu Cooperrider, who were relocated to San Francisco earlier this year in a last-ditch effort to turn the office around, will return to the Havas-owned agency’s Boston headquarters this summer. About 17 employees are expected to lose their jobs — though Arnold does plan to keep about a dozen media and public relations professionals stationed in San Francisco.

Arnold’s SF office has in the past two years been battered by the weak Bay Area economy, its over-reliance on budget-cutting high-tech accounts and defections of key personnel, including president Penny Baldwin, who left in November to take the CEO post at the crosstown office of Young & Rubicam. Arnold’s SF billings, more than $90 million in late-2000, are believed to be $10-15 million as operations wind down.

Arnold continues to maintain domestic offices in New York, McLean, Va. and St. Louis; McKinney & Silver in Raleigh, N.C., and Brann Worldwide, Wilton, Conn., are affiliates.