FCB Detroit Dealt Another Blow

What little of FCB remains here after the loss of its DaimlerChrysler business was dealt another account loss last week when its second largest client walked.

After 10 years at FCB, Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, moved its $3 million business to McCann-Erickson in Troy, Mich., without a review.

That news hit a week before layoffs at FCB, Southfield, Mich., are set to take place. About 300 of the office’s 430 staffers on Dec. 6 received 60 days’ notice that they may be laid off, while roughly 80 others received notice on Jan. 16. Of the first group of 300 people, about 200 have accepted jobs with the new DCX shop PentaMark, while others have moved to other shops. For the rest, FCB has offered a severance package based on the length of their tenure at FCB—roughly one week’s pay for every year employed.

FCB’s remaining clients are Sunbeam-owned outdoor-products manufacturer Coleman, which bills at about $2 million, Valassis/FSI and Arvin-Meritor. Client officials said they are sticking with FCB for now and are waiting to see what happens.

The office is expected to close this summer, leaving the remaining staf fers with a few options. They may be offered positions at True North Communications’ Don Coleman Advertising in Southfield, although it was not determined whether they would be grouped separately, retaining the FCB name, or if they would simply be absorbed into DCA, sources said.

The remaining FCB accounts could be moved to the DCA office and serviced there, sources said. It’s also possible that remaining staffers might come under another FCB office’s jurisdiction, but continue operating as a unit out of Detroit, sources said.

CFO Ken Darish is currently heading the FCB office here.