Mills, however, who doesn't officially take over until August 1, denied there are talks going on to sell or spin off any of the units. 'That would be pure speculation,' said Mills. 'I can understand how it gets started, though, because there likely would have been a restructuring had the merger with BBDO gone through,' he said. 'With me coming from BBDO, I'm sure it has a lot of people thinking and talking.'
Mills was president/chief operating officer of BBDO North America before being named head of Ross Roy Inc. and heir to Ross Roy Group chairman Glen Fortinberry two weeks ago. BBDO and Ross Roy were in prolonged merger negotiations last year.
'We will have to become more focused, and it's clear that restructuring will eventually be a part of that,' said one Ross Roy Group executive.
Options for Ross Roy entities that have been discussed during the merger negotiations (which have been called 'dead' by Mills) and after talks broke off, include employee buybacks with money raised from a bank, buybacks with Ross Roy holding the note, and a sale to other agencies.
Griswold and Anthony Franco Public Relations would seem likely candidates because they operate largely independent of Ross Roy.
Anthony Franco, reached last week, said, 'I know of no plans to sell the agency . . . in fact I have been told specifically that there is no such plan.'
Though there has been speculation regarding Calet, Hirsch, Ferrell, as well, there is little chance that it would be sold. Aside from not wanting to cut away its only New York presence, CHF does national Kmart advertising, and the creative team, which is known to be important to the client, are said to not be interested in moving to Detroit.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)