DMB&B’s Group D’Arcy Adds KBD

Acquisition of Local Shop Bulks Up Nonautomotive Unit’s Roster
DETROIT–D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles has acquired agency Kolon, Bittker & Desmond in order to expand its Group D’Arcy unit, the “agency within an agency” that handles DMB&B’s nonautomotive accounts.
Both DMB&B and KBD are in Troy, Mich.
With the $15 million in business KBD brings to the fold, Group D’Arcy’s billings now total more than $75 million, said Mark Gjovik, executive vice president for the unit.
The deal comes at a critical time for both shops. KBD lost a major client when Arbor Drugs was acquired by CVS Drugstores in Woonsocket, R.I., earlier this year and its $5 million account consolidated with CVS agency Bates USA in New York.
John Kolon, KBD’s president and chief executive officer, who joins Group D’Arcy as senior vice president and group account director, said his agency has been looking for a partner for several years. In April, the agency allied with McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich., to jointly pitch the $40 million Little Caesars pizza account. That account was awarded to Bozell Worldwide in Southfield, Mich., but a possible McCann bid for KBD had been rumored.
DMB&B’s Troy office has been committed to expanding Group D’Arcy since the nonautomotive unit was created nearly two years ago. The agency handles General Motors’ Cadillac and Pontiac brands, but an assignment for GM’s new Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle went to DMB&B’s Los Angeles office this year, and GM named Berlin Cameron & Partners, New York, to handle launch work.
The growth of Group D’Arcy is a key strategic objective for the agency, said Patrick Sherwood, managing director of the Troy office. “We are committed to growth and diversity in the Detroit office,” he said. “That combination helps us to better build skills to serve the changing needs of our existing clients and our prospects.”
The expanded Group D’Arcy will serve KBD clients including MedMax, Kowalski Sausage, the Heritage and Spring Newspaper groups and Mission Pointe Resort in Mackinac Island, Mich. Group D’Arcy clients include Dow Chemical, GM Service Parts, Ryder TRS and the American Plastics Council.
It has not been determined how many of KBD’s 36 employees will join Group D’Arcy, Kolon said. Group D’Arcy currently has about 40 employees, Sherwood said.