DALLAS-Two Dallas subsidiaries of Omnicom Group-Rapp Collins Worldwide and The Focus Agency-have formed a strategic alliance, combining the latter’s brand advertising capabilities with the former’s direct marketing and database expertise.
In the move, Focus president and chief executive officer Mark Miller becomes president of both shops, reporting to Rapp Collins CEO John Jastrem here.
“This combination of mass advertising, custom service through analytics and interactive dialogue is a reflection of how consumers will buy in the future,” said Malcom Speed, New York-based chairman and chief executive officer of Rapp Collins Worldwide, in a statement.
Former Rapp Collins president Steve Judge has left the company to pursue other interests, according to the firm. A longtime veteran of the shop, Judge was joined in the executive suites by Jastrem last December, ostensibly to build the agency’s high-tech capabilities.
The Focus Agency’s 55 employees will be moving to the Omnicom complex in Irving, Texas, that houses Rapp Collins.
Focus has been somewhat star-crossed in the two-plus years since core client GTE left for BBDO in New York. Focus rebounded in late 1997 to land major clients such as Prevue Networks (now TV Guide Channel) and Qwest Communications, but both have since departed.
The Qwest relationship was highlighted by the controversy of two Focus-produced commercials that never aired. Those dark-humored spots featured a suicidal character encouraged to “jump” by an angry mob and attacked in his hospital bed by a priest because of his ties to a “big, long-distance company.”