Cossette Post Adds Smith as President

NEW YORK Lance Smith, former president of now defunct D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, has joined Cossette Post as president and chief operating officer. The appointment is part of a restructuring that makes three top managers partners in the shop.

Frank Sampogna, chairman and formerly COO; Steve Crane, creative director and formerly president; and media services director Richard Lefkowitz have been made managing partners of the New York agency following Smith’s hire. Both Sampogna and Crane relinquished part of their titles and job duties to Smith.

Smith, 47, said he had been talking to agencies and clients about a number of posts since the end of March, when the D’Arcy shuttering was completed. He began work at Cossette Post on Monday, after a two-month courtship.

“I’ve only worked at large agencies with major global clients, so I didn’t go out looking to be at a smaller agency,” Smith said. “But I found an awful lot of compatibility at Cossette.”

One patch of common ground was the agency’s plans for growth and acquisition, Smith said. In addition to lengthening the shop’s client roster, Cossette management will continue to round out communications offerings through acquisitions, Smith said. In April, the company agreed to purchase Tarsitano Creative, a direct marketing agency that grossed more than $2 million last year and moved into the Cossette’s offices in June.

“The mission of the company is … convergent communications,” Smith said. Cossette wants all its clients’ options “under one roof and working without some of the barriers the holding companies have in their midst.”