FCB’s Williams Makes an Impact

Brian Williams last week made his first major move since assuming the presidency of Foote, Cone & Belding here, naming Craig O’Keefe to the new post of executive vice president and director of promotions for the agency’s Impact Communications Group.
O’Keefe moves across town from Leo Burnett, where he had been promotion director and where he had worked with former Burnett executive Williams.
The hiring is “a first step” in a process of re-emphasizing the promotions and direct marketing disciplines included under the Impact umbrella, Williams said.
“Craig will decide a lot of how we change,” Williams said, “but we’re in agreement on the overall role promotion needs to play within the agency as a whole.”
As Williams envisions it, the restructuring will mean more integration of Impact’s promotions and direct expertise with FCB advertising teams. Impact, however, will continue to solicit clients of its own.
“I wouldn’t rule out developing additional [marketing] disciplines” under the Impact banner, Williams said, while also seeing opportunities to expand the core direct and promotions teams.
As earlier reported, FCB is negotiating the acquisition of direct/database marketing agency CM Partners in Rolling Meadows, Ill. [Adweek, Nov. 23]. That deal is expected to close early in 1999 and provide the agency with expanded direct capabilities.
Separately, FCB parent True North Communications’ Promotion Services Group last week acquired Barr Benedett Group, a Westport, Conn., marketing agency specializing in retail clients. The unit also includes promo agencies Market Growth Resources and McCracken Brooks.