Kamstra Accounts Shift to CL

One of the remaining questions in the wake of the Interpublic Group of Cos. recent reorganization was answered last week when Carmichael Lynch absorbed Bozell Kamstra’s four Minneapolis clients.

CL will add up to $20 million in billings from clients Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota, Lawson Software, Hurd Windows and Wagner Spray Tech, said CL president John Colasanti. Agency executives will evaluate this week how many and who from Kamstra’s 60-person staff might move to CL, he said.

“It’s going to be a good opportunity to do some integrated work for some new brands,” Colasanti said. “We don’t know enough yet to determine our staffing needs.”

Kamstra’s largest account, the $100 million Fujitsu business, has been moved to Bozell, New York. Dean Buresh, Kamstra’s president, also will be relocating to New York to oversee the account, sources said. Buresh could not be reached for comment.

The fate of Kamstra’s Minneapolis office was left up in the air when IPG reorganized its agencies in July [Adweek, July 16]. While the shop’s Boston and Pittsburgh offices were absorbed by Mullen, the fate of its Minneapolis headquarters was not immediately determined.

IPG suggested CL look at Kamstra’s four clients, but the holding company did not force the shop to absorb the accounts, Colasanti said.

“The opportunity presented itself and we determined that it would make sense for us to add these brands to our roster,” Colasanti said. “I think their needs are a good match with what we offer from an integrated standpoint.”

Two of the clients, Wagner and Hurd, will fit well with the agency’s home-fixtures clients, Trex, Formica and First Alert, Colasanti said. Lawson and BC/BS give the agency “an opportunity to compete in new categories,” he said.

CL will not absorb the operations of interactive shop SixtyfootSpider. “I would say we’re solid in [interactive],” Colasanti said. The fate of SixtyfootSpider is undetermined.

Bozell Kamstra in its various incarnations had long held an important presence in Minneapolis. It was the training ground for many of the city’s top ad executives, including two of the original principals in what is now Fallon.