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MVBMS Comes West

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Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG in New York said last week it is expanding its operations to the West Coast, taking over sibling a.k.a. Euro RSCG in San Francisco.

Michael Kan trow, managing director and CEO of a.k.a., will be named managing director of the office, which is being rebranded with the full Messner name. Kan trow reports to Ron Berger, CEO in New York. Kevin McCarthy, partner and creative director of a.k.a., will continue in that role in San Francisco.

"It makes sense seeing that we have a number of clients on the West Coast," Berger said, referring to such companies as Intel in Santa Clara, Calif., Volvo in Irvine, Calif., and Evian in Pasadena, Calif. "Now when we have meetings in San Francisco with Intel, we have a home.

"It's a market with great potential," he added. "People may think the opposite is true, since the market out there is decimated. But there are fewer agencies, and that means an agency like ours can capitalize."

Kantrow has a long history with Euro RSCG. A former senior account representative on WorldCom and 1-800-Collect, he has advanced new-business efforts on the West Coast.

As of press time, no key employees are moving from New York to California, sources said. But that could change, depending on staffing needs.

The 3-year-old a.k.a. will retain its 30 staffers. The office claims approximately $115 million in billings from clients such as the Picture People (a Hallmark company), Juniper Networks, Shaklee Corp. and Hornblower Cruises and Events.