Arnold Consolidates Virginia Talent




Shifts Richmond President and Creative Chief to McLean Locale
ATLANTA-The president and creative director of The Arnold Agency in Richmond will be moving upstate to McLean, after Boston parent Arnold Communications announced the consolidation of its two Virginia offices last week.
Rick Britton, who transferred to Richmond from Arnold’s Boston flagship almost two years ago, and Matt Smith will oversee both Virginia offices as president and executive vice president/creative director, respectively. Combined, the two locations encompass total billings of $150 million and are Arnold’s second-largest entity.
Britton said Arnold’s current president in McLean, Pete Hanley, is retiring after a six-year tenure, and creative director Paul Gayter will leave the agency. Fred Moore, director of client services and development in Richmond, becomes general manager of that office and will report to Britton.
Arnold Communications president and chief executive officer Ed Eskandarian said, “We’re currently operating two agencies within 90 minutes of each other. Logistically, it only makes sense to consolidate management and a number of resources.”
Besides the departure of Smith and himself, Britton said Arnold would not otherwise downsize the Richmond office, maintaining 31 employees for creative and account support duties. Functions such as finance, accounting and human resources, which had been handled out of Boston for the Richmond staff, will now be performed in McLean.
Britton, an original partner and member of Arnold’s board of directors, admitted that the consolidation came “as a bit of a surprise” to Richmond employees. Just three weeks ago, Richmond distributed more than 100 agency reels to clients past and present, other local companies and the media in an effort to show, in Smith’s words at the time, “We’re back on our feet.”
Richmond’s key accounts are the Virginia Lottery, Virginia Power and Stihl Power Equipment.
“We’re very excited about what this means for our company,” Britton said. “We create more resources for our clients, and we’re positioned for more business in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic states.” ƒ