Euro RSCG Absorbs RPA Clients, Executives

CHICAGO Havas’ Euro RSCG here is taking in six clients and three executives from the Chicago office of RPA, which will continue to exist only as a field office for Honda and Acura, executives said on Monday.

Larry Postaer, co-founder, evp and director of client services of the Santa Monica, Calif., independent RPA, is the father of Euro RSCG Chicago chairman and chief creative officer Steffan Postaer. That was a key factor in the deal, which Steffan Postaer and Euro RSCG Chicago CEO Ron Bess declined to characterize as an acquisition.

“If there wasn’t a long-term relationship involved, I don’t think any of this would have happened,” Steffan Postaer said.

Joining Euro RSCG as one of two managing directors, reporting to Bess, is Bill Marks, who had the same title at RPA Chicago. Also making the move are RPA Chicago’s co-creative directors Bill Mericle and Paul Janas, who will be group creative directors at Euro RSCG, Postaer said.

The three executives are bringing with them six clients, which in 2004 represented about $10 million in billings, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. (Billings were $14 million for those clients in the first nine months of 2004, according to the same source.)

The clients are Calphalon Cookware, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Graco Children’s Products, GMAC Real Estate, H20 Plus and DirectBuy, according to Euro RSCG.

The deal gives Euro RSCG, working to rebuild its ad practice under Bess, an instant infusion of promising clients and “people who are able to handle a broad portfolio of clients,” Bess said.

Marks, Mericle and Janas left Publicis & Hal Riney Chicago, which no longer exists, in 1998 to build RPA’s operations in Chicago.

Their departure, and that of the agency’s clients, leaves RPA where they found it, as a field office for Honda and Acura. An RPA representative was not immediately available for comment.