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London Agency Swoops Into San Francisco

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Publicis Technology, a British agency specializing in high-tech marketing, has opened a San Francisco office and acquired two local shops, Hodskins, Simone & Searls and interactive outfit DNA NewMedia.
The deal gives London-based Publicis Technology a 60-person shop with billings of more than $60 million and an instant foothold in San Francisco. Hodskins' clients include Advanced Micro Devices and Motorola Computer Corp. DNA brings clients such as Fujitsu and Borland. The new entity will operate under the Publicis Technology name.
Publicis Technology chief executive officer Alex Letts said acquiring the agencies' traditional and new media expertise rounds out the new full-service shop. "We were looking for something equivalent to what we're doing in London," he said.
David Hodskins, former president of HS&S, joins Mike Croft in London as Publicis Technology's joint chief operating officer. Hodskins also becomes general manager of the San Francisco office. Former DNA president Andy Hayman was named executive vice president and creative director for the new shop.
"We are, I believe, the first agency to be born as a global agency," Hodskins said. "Next we will open a Singapore office and become a 24-hour agency."
According to Hodskins, the London, Singapore and San Francisco offices will share clients and assignments so that "the work never stops, no matter what time it is." The London office's portfolio includes Adobe Systems. The agency is currently involved in a pitch, begun by HS&S, for Adobe's global direct marketing business.
Letts said he is also shopping on the East Coast, mainly in Boston, to acquire an agency the size of the San Francisco and London offices.
Publicis Technology, formerly SMI Group, was launched in its current incarnation in September, when it was bought by Paris-based Publicis.
--with Jane Irene Kelly