TracyLocke Set To Solve Identity Issues

After returning to the name TracyLocke as part of a repositioning effort for an agency that has been lost in a blur of identities, CEO Ed Winter is making an effort to clarify the 91-year-old Dallas shop’s mission and management.

Winter last week supplied the Omnicom Group agency’s two headquarters (Dallas and Wilton, Conn.) with their own chief operating officers, a move he said will free each to pursue new business and make decisions more autonomously.

“It was clear to me it was time to streamline the operation,” said Winter, adding that he is refocusing the agency as a “brand activation network” that specializes in promotions and creative brand building. “We repositioned TracyLocke to overcome confusion over whether we were a promotion agency in Wilton or an advertising agency in Dallas.”

Running the Wilton operation as COO will be Tim Zuckert, formerly the office’s general manager. The new COO in Dallas is Tony Dammicci, who had been president of PGC, a Dallas shop he helped launch in 1985. Both report to Winter.

Dammicci replaces Sandi Means, who ran both offices as COO until leaving in August to become an evp at another Omnicom agency, Targetbase in Irving, Texas. As Wilton grew, coordination between the two offices became cumbersome, prompting the move to two COOs, Winter said.

Winter worked at the agency in the 1980s, left, then returned in 2001 as vice chairman and chief strategy officer. He replaced Gary VonKennel as CEO last year and now oversees a company with billings Adweek estimates at $540 million for 2003, with clients that include PepsiCo, AOL, Frito-Lay, Hasbro and 7-Eleven.

Since the shop’s founding as Tracy-Locke Advertising, its names have included TL Partnership and TLP to reflect a focus on promotions, becoming TLP-Tracy Locke Partnership in 2001 to convey a more full-service approach.

“I realized we were spending too much time thinking about ourselves instead of what we do,” Winter said. “We have to evolve from being an advertising agency to being a strategic business partner.”