Publicis to Fold iLeo Into Frankel

CHICAGO Publicis Groupe is set to merge the iLeo promotional unit of Leo Burnett into Frankel, sources said.

The combined entity would likely keep the Frankel name, but align the unit even more closely with Burnett, sources said.

Management roles, including those for iLeo president Peter Steinhauser and Frankel CEO Dick Thomas, have not been determined, the sources said.

While not confirming the merger, a Leo Burnett representative said, “We are working closely with Publicis Groupe to design a global marketing services offering that best meets the needs of our clients. When we are ready to unveil details of this new offering we will.” A Publicis Groupe representative could not be immediately reached.

In September 2003, Publicis made Frankel its lead below-the-line agency in the U.S., merging Arc Integrated Marketing (formerly part of the D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles network) into Frankel and aligning Burnett interactive property Semaphore Partners under the same shop. The Semaphore name—and possibly others—will likely remain in order to handle some conflicts, sources said.