HMS Part-ners in Miami has restructured and streamlined its top management at the same time it has emerged as a contender for the $100 million U.S. Census Bureau business.
Chief executive officer Rick Milenthal also confirmed HMS remains in an aggressive acquisition mode, hoping to acquire at least one more agency in the next few months.
"The changes here are part of the normal evolution of the agency," said Milenthal. He and HMS president Ric Cooper have made key personnel changes as part of their mission to turn Miami into the shop's international headquarters.
Milenthal declined to comment on the U.S. Census review, referring all calls to the client. Sources said the client has selected contenders for its Census 2000 ad campaign. Phil Sparks, associate director of communications for the Suitland, Md.-based client, confirmed that "vendors within a competitive range have been identified." Sources said the other contenders included at least three New York shops, all of them multinational companies: Bates USA, Grey Advertising and Young & Rubicam.
At HMS, the primary change that Milenthal made was to abandon the concept of co-creative directors. "It just didn't work," he said. Phillip Squier, who was hired a year ago to work with Janet Guillet, has been let go. Guillet will be sole creative director. Squier had previously worked as an independent contractor for Wieden & Kennedy on the Nike account. Squier and Guillet were not available for comment.
Terry Fink, executive vice president, also left the agency to pursue "something more entrepreneurial," he said. "I had a great two years in Miami," Fink added. He also said he had reached his primary goals of achieving advances on the creative front and recruiting good people. "We were looking at some roles with Terry," Milenthal said. "He wanted to run an agency or at least an office and that wasn't available."
After Cooper was installed as president last February, Lynne Christopher and Janie Frank were recruited from Chicago-based Cravit & Associates in the spring. Christopher is HMS executive vice president and director of corporate media. Frank arrived as senior vice president and group management director. --with Hank Kim