TBWA\C\D Keeps S.F.

TBWA\Chiat\Day confirmed last week it will remain open in San Francisco as a downsized office serving Adidas and other existing accounts.

Sources said about 50 of the office’s 91 staffers have been laid off. TBWA\C\D said it has no plans to leave the building it occupies on Union Street near Fisherman’s Wharf.

The new scaled-down version of the office will include creative and account services, sources said, but will not have a new-business component. That puts it in the unusual position of handling several accounts and assisting with the $100 million-plus Adidas business but not trying to lure new clients.

“The challenge is going to be for them to work and interact with [their] people in Los Angeles,” one source said of the arrangement on Adidas. “When you are divorced from the daily contact with creatives, there is some risk you won’t be as in touch.”

Under the new structure, San Francisco’s PlayStation account moves to Playa del Rey, as does San Francisco office president Carisa Bianchi. She assumes the title of managing partner. Robert LePlae, based in Playa del Rey, will be president overseeing both offices.

The agency has been weighing its options for some time, saying it wanted to keep a creative presence in Northern California [Adweek, Feb. 4]. A key reason, executives have said, is because North America creative director Chuck McBride is attached to the Bay Area and would likely leave the agency before uprooting his family.

The move comes less than a month after TBWA\C\D lost the $60 million Levi’s account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty.