SAN FRANCISCO – BBDO Worldwide last week moved to shore up its lackluster Northern California operations, closing" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" >

BBDO Closes Palo Alto Agency, Consolidates Northern California Biz in Frisco Office By Shelly Garci

SAN FRANCISCO – BBDO Worldwide last week moved to shore up its lackluster Northern California operations, closing

The merged agency, with about $65 million in billings, will be headed by Robert Fultz, former president of TFB, who has been named ceo of BBDO S.F. Fred Walti, former gm of BBDO, was named coo.
‘What we’re trying to do is get critical mass here,’ said Steve Hayden, president of BBDO Los Angeles, who will continue to oversee the S.F. operations along with Peter Mills, president and coo of BBDO North America.
‘If you have critical mass, you can staff the business, service it well and free up capacity for new business at the same time,’ Hayden explained.
Growth at TFB, which specialized in high-tech advertising, began to falter in 1991 as the recession hit Silicon Valley and larger high-tech accounts, which once sought agencies with specific product expertise, began to consider general service agencies for more broadscale exposure. Billings in 1992, about $36 million, remained flat against 1991.
BBDO’s S.F. office has operated largely as a service arm to BBDO New York. Though it handles Pacific Bell’s non-regulated business and Oral-B, its image is associated with media buying for N.Y.’s Pizza Hut account and business-to-business advertising for N.Y.’s Visa client, a lineup competitors said is responsible for the shop’s low profile in the S.F. market.
Because resources were limited, ‘we made a decision, perhaps not a very sexy one, to focus on our existing clients and improve the quality of our product,’ Walti said. He and Fultz expect that the merger will free up creative and account talent to expand the shop beyond its current niche.
‘What (the consolidation) really has to do with is to pursue large clients and offer the range of services they need,’ said Fultz.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)