A dozen years after an acquisition brought Young & Rubicam and SicolaMartin together, the smaller business-to-business specialist is taking the bigger shop’s name.
SicolaMartin, a 45-person shop in Austin, Texas, whose accounts include Dell, SanDisk, SAP, Avaya and Xerox, is now Y&R Austin, adding a fifth city to Y&R’s North American operation.
Leadership of the Texas shop won’t change: Cherie Cox remains CEO and Chris Wood is still executive creative director. But the Southwestern cousin will now be more tightly knit to the mothership and its deeper resources. Cox, for example, will now report to Y&R North American CEO Matt Anthony.
For Y&R, the rebranding is a chance to plant its flag in a hot city that’s associated with technology. Anthony, for one, sees Austin as a means for attracting new talent. Of course, Y&R has competition: GSD&M and Razorfish already are established there.
“Sicola was already a Y&R agency, but yet we really wanted to integrate it,” Anthony said. “We wanted to make it part of Y&R and also take advantage, frankly, of the creativity, the innovation, the talent, the vibe that is all things Austin.”
Y&R and SicolaMartin already had clients in common—including Dell, SanDisk and Xerox—so they’re used to working together, at least on select projects.
Post-rebrand, Anthony expects the Texas shop to retain its b-to-b orientation, but he also wants Cox to take on more consumer brand assignments. Right now, roughly 90 percent of the agency’s assignments are in the b-to-b space, with the rest in consumer branding, according to Anthony. He said he would prefer a mix of about 60 percent b-to-b to 40 percent consumer.
“The team would like to see some balance,” Anthony said. “They’d like to see some clients that strengthen their current orientation but also open up new opportunities.”