Launch Is Taking Off

Launch Partnership will break away from its parent company, Temerlin McClain, on Feb. 1.

Executives of the subsidiary proposed the separation to Temerlin after losing creative duties on the estimated $6 million Dave & Buster’s account last month to Square One.

“[D&B] was the tipping point. If we’d maintained it, we would have a critical mass for Temerlin and [parent Interpublic Group] where the status quo was good enough,” Launch partner Michael Boone said. “By not having it, changes would have to be made and they would have been crippling. We said, ‘What if we spin out?’ In a weird way, [D&B] leaving gave us an opening.”

Launch suffered another blow a month earlier when the $20 million account went to Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in a review. The shop handled the business of the Richardson, Texas-based client on a project basis when billings were smaller ($10 million through October 2002, per CMR). Launch did not defend.

The $7 million shop, which will remain in the Dallas area, is keeping its name and clients. Its roster includes Park Place Dealership Group, Pizza Inn and the Star-Telegram.

Temerlin of Irving, Texas, form-ed Launch three years ago to serve startups and companies in need of rebranding. Three agency veterans—Diane Seimetz, David Wilgus and Boone—were put in charge.

Seimetz said Temerlin has been supportive of the spinoff. “They gave us this as a goodwill gesture,” she said.

The 14-person shop will reduce its workforce to six staffers.