Publicis Forms Arc North America

CHICAGO Publicis Groupe has combined its North American below-the-line agencies into one unit, Arc North America.

The new unit encompasses the practices Frankel, iLeo North America and Semaphore Partners, and will keep the Frankel name as a “sub-brand,” according to the agency. Arc will be aligned with Leo Burnett Worldwide in Chicago and will report to Burnett CEO Linda Wolf. Arc will be based in Chicago.

“Combining these entities will create one powerful marketing services company,” said Wolf in a statement. “By delivering broader and deeper marketing services capabilities within one best-in-class agency, Arc North America will stand out as an industry leader.”

Dick Thomas, currently president and CEO of Frankel, will lead Arc as president and CEO. Steve Weinswig, currently president and CEO of Semaphore, will also serve on the management team. Peter Steinhauser, who is currently president and CEO of iLeo, will leave the company after a transition.

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 sister interactive property Semaphore Partners under the same shop.