Dentsu's decision to hand sister shop Attik the keys to its Los Angeles office illustrates the reality that no matter how big the Dentsu name is in Asia, it has little caché in the U.S.
The move also reflects the relative strength and success of Attik, a San Francisco-based shop whose marquee account is Toyota's Scion. Attik also has a handful of staffers in London.
Effective April 1, Dentsu LA will be re-branded Attik LA, with about a dozen staffers and accounts such as Bandai toys, Advanstar and the American Liquorish Co., according to John Partilla, COO of Dentsu Network West, which includes North America, Latin America, Europe and Australia. Attik also will handle Southern California-based business out of the office.
"We're becoming much more strategic and aggressive" in moves like this, "and much less patient with the status quo," Partilla said.
Overseeing Attik LA will be Ric Peralta and Simon Needham, Attik's CEO and creative director, respectively. The San Francisco-based executives will now split their time between the two offices.
The SF office employs more than 40 staffers and generates about $15 million in annual revenue. Dentsu LA's previous CEO, Mike Parisi, exited in December, leaving the dozen or so creative and account management staffers.
Despite the move on the West Coast, there are no plans to combine the operations Dentsu New York with sister shop mcgarrybowen New York, Partilla said. To expand overseas, however, mcgarrybowen is expected to take over and rebrand several offices of Dentsu.