MARC to Shutter New York Office

CHICAGO–MARC USA’s New York office, hard hit by the economic downturn, is being bought back by its principals three years after the Pittsburgh-based holding company entered the market.

Vice chairman and co-creative director Neil Drossman and president and co-creative director Bob Needleman said they plan to reopen in June as Needleman Drossman & Partners. MARC acquired what was then Ryan Drossman & Partners in the summer of 1999, but the shop has been beset by losses and the company decided to unload the operation, sources said. About 15 employees remain with the agency, Needleman said.

At the time of its acquisition, Ryan Drossman & Partners claimed about $75 million in billings with clients that included Bear, Stearns & Co., Rheingold beer and Fiji Water. The dotcom crash and the further economic downturn after Sept. 11 were blamed for the shop’s hardships in recent months.

A MARC representative said the agency had no comment on the office’s status.

The shop’s current billings were not known. Remaining clients include Frederick Wildman & Sons, marketer of wines including Folonari.

Needleman said the agency would continue a loose affiliation with MARC, working with the shop on New York business as the need arises.