It’s Australian for Closed, Mate

Foster’s Shop Angotti Thomas Hedge Gets Swallowed Up By Gotham
NEW YORK–Fifteen years after opening its doors, Angotti Thomas Hedge, creator of the long-running Foster’s beer campaign, is no more. Last week, the agency’s pared-down client roster and staff were absorbed by fellow Interpublic shop Gotham, here.
In addition to the Foster’s account Gotham gains three major clients: Fuji Photo Film, Barron’s and New York Restaurant Group, and will try to take on the remaining 38 staffers, said Stone Roberts, chairman and CEO.
At the same time, Angotti chairman and chief creative officer Tony Angotti is retiring. “Tony will stick around for as long as we need him,” for probably a few months, Roberts said. Angotti could not be reached.
The merger did not come as a surprise, since Angotti already shared space with Gotham, along with back-office operations, including accounting [Adweek, Nov. 22]. Angotti moved to Gotham’s building last year, in part to free up space for Zentropy Partners–IPG’s new interactive division.
Last November, agency co-president Howard Sherman left for Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky, here. His predecessor, Barrie Hedge, departed in early 1999, and in 1998, executive creative director Rochelle Klein joined Tierney & Partners in Philadelphia.
Angotti also suffered client defections, including Volvo, Wild Turkey, Hardees and, more recently, RCN.
In the mid-1980s, Angotti bowed its first “Australian for beer” ad for Foster’s. It relied on puns and spotlighted the brand’s oilcan-like container. About 15 years later, the campaign is still on the air.
Another Angotti executive, chief operating officer Terrie Paladino, is joining Publicis, here, as chief development officer for the U.S., a new post. Paladino, 40, will oversee new business efforts, reporting to chairman and CEO Bob Bloom. “She’s got huge drive,” Bloom said. “She’ll be responsible for helping us build our brand in the U.S.” Gotham claims billings of more than $500 million and a staff of 180.
–with Kathleen Sampe