Frankel’s Thomas Will Remain in the Trenches

Although he has been elevated to president and CEO of promotions agency Frankel, Dick Thomas said he still expects to get his hands dirty on clients’ business.

“This marketplace is moving quickly right now,” Thomas said. “You need to deliver in a better way than you ever have before.”

Thomas takes over from Jim Mack, who remains as the agency’s group chairman. Mack cited Thomas’ experience as a “front-line player” in appointing him to the post.

“Frankel is the most important unit we have,” Mack said. (The agency’s other units include Creative Aim, Asterisk* and Marketing Events.) “We were looking for someone who can focus on the client’s needs.”

Thomas, 46, joined the Chicago agency in 1993 as a vice president of business development. Since 1999, he has been an executive vice pres ident overseeing the shop’s direct, database and digital marketing capabilities.

Over that time, the business has become much more demanding in terms of immediate results, particularly during the economic slowdown.

“What we should be doing is delivering immediate results,” Thomas said. “You have to evolve every single day.”

With a client roster that includes category leaders such as McDonald’s and United Airlines, Thomas said he is looking to expand the shop into the healthcare, automotive, and beer and spirits categories.

“Those are some of the categories that would round out our industry experience,” he said.

Both Mack and Thomas denied that the promotion was directly re lated to Frankel parent Publicis Groupe’s recent purchase of Bcom3 Group. Thomas said he views the new siblings, which include Leo Burnett in Chi cago, as an opportunity.

“We know most of these people; it’s not about us or them,” Thomas said. “It’s about trying to find ways we can join together on their business.”