Ex-Warwick Execs to Join EPB

Three top executives from defunct Warwick Baker O’Neill are expected to resurface this Wednesday at Earle Palmer Brown, with 33-year client U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. in tow.

Wilder Baker, former Warwick chairman and CEO, will become EPB vice chairman, working on USSTC and assisting new-business efforts. Warwick’s president and chief creative officer, Kevin O’Neill, will join the New York shop as a cd, and chief planning officer Tom Groves will be a director of account planning. Both will focus primarily on USSTC.

“It’s going to be a nice merging of the cultures,” said Jack Reed, EPB president, confirming the moves. Baker and O’Neill did not return calls. Groves could not be reached.

Additionally, nine other creative, account management, account planning and traffic staffers who worked on the $15 million tobacco account at Warwick join EPB this Wednesday, said Reed.

EPB holding company EPB Communications (now Panoramic) came close to buying Warwick last year, but the deal fell through. The 62-year-old New York shop folded earlier this month after a slew of client defections and several failed attempts to be bought [Adweek, July 30]. The latest USSTC work from Warwick, which broke this month, introduced smokeless tobacco Revel as a discreet way for smokers to enjoy tobacco.

EPB claimed $172 million in overall billings in 2000 and now has close to 175 staffers. Its clients include DuPont and IBM.