DETROIT – Call it a family affair. BBDO here is helping out its sister Omnicom agency DDB Needham by taking an estimated $10 million-plus in assorted" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

BBDO Gives Sister Shop DDB Needham a Helping Hand By David Kile

DETROIT – Call it a family affair. BBDO here is helping out its sister Omnicom agency DDB Needham by taking an estimated $10 million-plus in assorted

It marks the first time since BBDO won back Chrysler’s Dodge account in the early ’80s that the agency’s office here will handle any business other than the automaker’s. Indeed, BBDO North America chairman Tom Clark and BBDO Detroit chief executive Bill Oswald were not enamored of the idea, according to one agency executive, preferring to keep the agency dedicated to Chrysler. But as a concession to Omnicom, they agreed.
‘There has been an Omnicom chess game going on for a couple of months regarding BBDO’s and DDB’s presence in Detroit, ranging from real estate to staffing, and it has finally been resolved, though not to everyone’s satisfaction,’ said one BBDO executive, who called the situation ‘sensitive,’ and asked not to be identified.
The biggest of the new clients is Standard Federal Bank, at about $6 million, which came to DDB in 1990 when the agency bought Baker Advertising. Former DDB/Detroit chairman Ernie Baker, as well as a few DDB staffers, are moving to BBDO’s payroll to run the accounts. The other clients include London’s Farm Dairy, Lafarge Corp., and Oakland County Parks and Recreation. DDB also has been working for the Detroit Tigers, an account that is being handled on a project basis, and Baker’s team may continue to work for the team at BBDO. Its second biggest non-auto account is Health Alliance Plan, at about $4 million, which has been in review since May.
But the review has been in hiatus for the last month while HAP’s marketing chief John Breitmeyer has been hospitalized with a serious illness. The status of that account is unclear, and a HAP spokesman did not return phone calls.
The transfer of accounts coincides with BBDO’s recent occupation of DDB’s Troy offices in the Standard Federal Bank building in Troy, which were too big for DDB. BBDO just moved PentaCom, the newly formed media company dedicated to Chrysler, into the space. Baker and his small staff, said one executive, will work out of the PentaCom space, while a small creative staff dedicated to the accounts will use BBDO’s studio facilities in Southfield, Mich.
Baker, reached at PentaCom, had no comment. DDB/N.Y. president andy Berlin, who is responsible for the agency’s Troy office, said, ‘Our focus in Detroit is and will continue to be Volkswagen. Other than that, I can’t comment.’
DDB last week moved into new offices in Troy, with a staff of about 30 – half of what the agency reported last spring – headed by Peter Saad. The office will work mostly on Volkswagen collateral and dealer material, as well as serve DDB’s New York staff when they are working in Detroit.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)