TFA/Leo Burnett Gathers Pace in Its First Year




Technology Unit Lands 4 Accounts, Plans to Drop TFA From Name
CHICAGO-The agency formerly known as TFA Communications is starting to reap the rewards of its nearly year-old union with Leo Burnett.
“We’re starting to get the momentum going since the acquisition,” said Sean Bisceglia, chief executive officer of TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group.
The business-to-business technology specialist is expected to drop the TFA label this summer, becoming the Leo Burnett Technology Group, to integrate more closely with its parent, Bisceglia said.
Four recent business wins are evidence the marriage is working, he said. TFA’s Chicago office recently was awarded a project from Bell & Howell Imaging Solutions, Niles, Ill., and was named agency of record for Louisville, Ky.-based TechRepublic. Its Boston office was named agency of record for Comdial, Charlottesville, Va., and Information Builders, New York.
Bisceglia estimated total billings to be around $22 million. He credited the wins to the expanded resources gained through Burnett.
Among those resources are the unit’s new chief creative officer, Jamie Pfaff (who came from Burnett’s China office), and planning director Michelle Edelman, and the expertise found at Burnett’s Starcom media unit, Bisceglia said.
On the downside, the high-tech unit lost out to The Richards Group, Dallas, for Comdisco’s $10 million account and to McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown, Chicago, for Internet technology company Whitman Hart’s $1-2 million account.
Burnett acquired TFA last July to tap the growth potential of high-tech clients. TFA may eventually help Burnett’s consumer clients with their technology needs, but its main focus for now is on business-to-business.
In addition to increasing TFA’s scope, the merger helped Burnett push into Oracle’s $90 million review, Bisceglia said.
TFA had provided trade show services for Oracle, which put Burnett on its review list at Bisceglia’s urging, he said.
“Leo Burnett didn’t make it onto their radar screen until we raised our hands,” he said.