Arnold Acquires Simmons Durham

Arnold on Monday continued to expand its agency network, acquiring St. Louis agency Simmons Durham, best known for creating worldwide advertising for Brown Forman’s Jack Daniel’s brand spirits.

The 32-person shop, which claims about $70 million in billings, has been rebranded simply with the “Arnold” name. Chairman/executive CD Ted Simmons and president Les Diveley remain in charge. Terms were not disclosed.

“Simmons Durham’s experience in the spirits category and its Midwest location will open up a variety of new business opportunities for Arnold,” said Ed Eskandarian, CEO and chairman of the Boston-based agency.

Apart from Jack Daniel’s, the former Simmons Durham has worked for A.G. Edwards, Eveready Battery and Milnot’s Milnot Canned Milk and Chiliman Chili. The agency for six years has also handled Broadband-service provider Charter Communications, which last week placed its $4 million ad account in play. It is unknown if the shop will defend.

Arnold, a unit of Paris-based holding company Havas Advertising, has been attempting to build a global network with acquisitions at home and abroad. Recent additions include McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., and Brandhouse, a marketing agency with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Eskandarian said he is currently targeting shops in the United Kingdom as well as in Asia.

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.