Hanft Splits Into 3 Business Units

With only 55 employees and $100 million in billings, Adam Hanft’s agency would not seem a likely candidate to utilize a holding-company structure. But in an effort to raise its below-the-line profile, the former Hanft Byrne Raboy has restructured into that model, creating three divisions under a new entity, Hanft Unlimited.

The units each will have their own P&L, but they will work together on some projects, said Hanft, the founder and CEO of Hanft Unlimited. Ten employees will be part of Fishtank Consulting, which offers strategic consulting; 15 will work on custom publishing for Garvey Publishing; and 15 will do advertising at the newly named Hanft Raboy.

“What the holding company lets us do is take content and deploy it across various units,” said Hanft.

“All these non-advertising businesses are important today because network TV has fallen off a lot, and clients are seeking multifaceted campaigns,” said Bob Schmidt, founding partner of Bresner/Schmidt, a New York ad consultancy. “So in order to maintain your billings, you need to spread your wings. Adam is just doing it in a smaller way.”

The changes follow the departure in January of managing partner/client services Dick Byrne, who left to pursue other interests.

Hanft recalled the shop’s pitch for the $9 million Café de Colombia account, won in June by an Interpublic Group consortium. “We put together a tremendous pitch,” he said. “But the client went with a group of companies they felt had more capabilities.”

“People say, ‘Are you an advertising agency? Do you do branded content? Are you a consultancy?’ ” said Doug Raboy, managing partner at Hanft Unlimited and managing partner/creative at Hanft Raboy. “This … allows us to say yes.”