Cossette Post Taps D’Arcy President

Former D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles president Lance Smith had not planned to join a smaller shop after D’Arcy shut down in January, but he says it was no accident that he has landed at Cossette Post in New York as president and COO.

“When I went into the search, I was very much aware that there could be a very good future for midsized companies,” he said. “There is a place for what we aspire to be.”

CEO Peter Post said he was interested in Smith because of his big-agency background. The 47-year-old Westchester County, N.Y., native managed D’Arcy’s $600 million Procter & Gamble account and worked on Unilever at Ammirati Puris Lintas.

“There is hardly a packaged-goods client I haven’t worked with,” said Smith.

Canadian-owned Cossette Post’s billings were about $120 million in 2002, per TNS Media Intelligence/ CMR. The 88-person shop, whose clients include Keyspan, the U.S. Coast Guard and TD Waterhouse, is targeting packaged-goods accounts.

The sector is too significant to be shut out of, Smith said. “There are an awful lot of challenges and smart marketing opportunities in that area. For us not to be involved in that is not good for our future.”

Smith will also oversee the shop’s new services. In April, Cossette Post purchased a direct communications agency. Next on its list are public relations capabilities, said Post.

“I’m used to such chaos from all angles,” Smith said. “I think it will get equally chaotic but in a good way.”