Florida-Texas Match

Florida and Texas agencies have teamed to form the core of an anticipated new regional network.

The Atkins Agency in San Antonio, which last year became The Center for the Persuasive Arts, changes its name again to become Atkins/Lord & Lasker. New partner Paradigm/Lord & Lasker is based in Tampa, Fla., with affiliate offices in Daytona Beach and Lakeland, Fla., and Washington, D.C.

Steve Atkins, chairman and chief executive officer of the new firm, characterized the deal as an equity sharing arrangement in which the shops will split future profits.

“The strategy is not to have an acquisition, because acquisitions could potentially lead to apathy of key leadership in any of the shops,” Atkins said. “This way all of us are participating, and we’re in conversations with other agencies now to further extend the L&L brand.”

The Lord & Lasker name is derived from early advertising history and the legendary Lord and Thomas agency of Chicago, as well as its famous copywriter, Albert Lasker. Future partners are likely to retain their names with the Lord & Lasker suffix attached, although details have not been finalized, according to Atkins.

Chris Harwell remains as chairman and chief executive officer of the Florida agency.

The two shops have a combined staff of 100 and more than $90 million in billings. Paradigm’s clients are SwissAir, Cigna Healthcare and Knowledge Management Software, while Atkins brings Christus Health and several Mexican tourism accounts to the table.