Lois/EJL's Windy City Split Yields Fogarty Klein & Partners 312
DALLAS--A cultural division that developed over three years at Lois USA's Chicago shop has opened the door for Lois-owned Fogarty Klein & Partners in Houston to fulfill long-held national expansion plans.
The parent company has split the former Lois/EJL, the result of a 1996 merger of Lois' Chicago office and Eisaman, Johns & Laws, into two agencies, Lois Chicago and Fogarty Klein & Partners 312 (the city's downtown area code).
The latter shop will be operated largely by former EJ&L executives. They will report to Houston-based FK&P principals and co-founders Rich Klein and Bill Fogarty. "Most of us are Midwesterners, and probably the culture [with the former EJ&L] is more similar to the culture we have," said Klein.
That includes a packaged-goods background at EJ&L, in contrast to the retail strengths of the Lois Chicago operation.
Those cultures were apparently not meshing between the former EJ&L personnel and Lois' Chicago office. "They felt one was inhibiting the other," said Klein. "Both are successful groups, but once they put them together it didn't work. I admire them for admitting it."
Lois USA president Ted Veru said the decision to open two offices in Chicago was not a result of any style clash. But both men said the move is a step toward building a national network for FK&P, an original plan agreed to upon Lois' acquisition of Fogarty in 1997. It will also open Lois USA to go after conflicting accounts in the same market. Klein agreed that reason was also a major contributor to the shift.
FK&P 312 starts out with a new client, World Championship Wrestling. Mike de Maio, who headed EJ&L and will serve as president of the office, said the WCW workload would mostly involve direct and database marketing.
Other clients at FK&P's new Chicago office will be: Corona Extra Beer, the Chicago Cubs and regional work for Valvoline. Those accounts are worth about $25 million. The shop's current pitch for the $5-6 million Cooper Tire & Rubber account will be moved to FK&P 312.