More Than 200 From FCB Join PentaMark

FCB Detroit was “like a ghost town” last week after more than 200 people, including a raft of top creatives, moved with their work on Chrysler to BBDO’s PentaMark Worldwide, agency officials and sources said.

Among those joining PentaMark was Bill Morden, chief creative officer at FCB Detroit since last March. PentaMark earlier hired Mike Vogel, the head of the FCB office, to run the worldwide Chrysler operation.

The moves were expected after DaimlerChrysler moved its $2 billion business to BBDO’s new PentaMark Worldwide in November, leaving FCB without its cornerstone Motor City client.

Chrysler paid parent True North Communications $13 million to sever its contract with the agency on Jan. 1, four months before it was to expire, according to TN. That amount covers what FCB would have made had the contract run its course. Chrysler has pushed for an early bailout all along to hasten the transition to BBDO.

The payout will not cover the costs to FCB of losing and unloading the business, which will result in a fourth-quarter restructuring charge to TN of $17-20 million, according to TN. In addition, about 150 people were laid off due to the account loss.

PentaMark parent Omnicom has agreed to sublease a portion of the Southfield, Mich., office space that FCB currently occupies through Jan. 31, 2002, BBDO representative Kathy Tebbe said. Where the re-maining 100 FCB Detroit staffers will go is to be determined. They may be moved into Don Coleman Adver-tising’s space in Southfield to work on the agency’s remaining accounts.

TN has a 49 percent stake in Don Coleman, which continues to handle DaimlerChrysler’s African American marketing. If TN is bought by a holding company with an automobile conflict, the shop has an option out of its partnership with TN. TN is thought to be in talks with Cordiant Communications Group about a deal that could be consummated this month.