Burnett Enters Southwest Via TFA Purchase

Chicago-based TFA Communications, a high-tech business-to-business shop with offices in Boston and Dallas, was acquired last week by Leo Burnett of Chicago.
The Dallas office will operate under the new TFA/Leo Burnett Technology banner and begin pursuing larger clients throughout the Southwest, according to director of business development Curtis Young.
Terms of the deal, which gives Burnett its first foothold in the region, were not disclosed.
Young said the eight-person Dallas office’s new business efforts have been concentrated primarily in its home market, Houston, and Austin, Texas. He said he expects that geography to expand and believes the Burnett name will help it gain access to larger new business pitches.
TFA gains access to the resources of Burnett’s $6 billion global agency network. TFA’s high-tech competitors in the Southwest include M/C/C in Dallas and SicolaMartin in Austin.
Carl Triemstra, president of the Dallas office, will continue in that post. Clients in Dallas include 3M, Motorola and Pervasive Software.
A TFA representative would not disclose billings for the Dallas office but said the specialty shop has nationwide billings of $68 million.
Sean Bisceglia, who founded TFA Communications in Chicago seven years ago, remains chief executive of the agency, which will function as a separate unit within Burnett. Bisceglia also becomes an executive vice president of the parent company.
TFA’s Boston outpost is led by president Jeffrey Winsper, who will continue to oversee the office.
TFA and Burnett are familiar with each other because of their Chicago roots and a common client, said Linda Wolf, president of Leo Burnett North America. Burnett handles Motorola’s semiconductor business, and TFA works with the firm’s personal computer group.
“With the exception of Motorola, [Burnett’s] technology credentials have been relatively underdeveloped,” Wolf said. –with Steve Krajewski