Publicis Units to Share Space

Publicis in Mid America here is moving out of its offices in the historic Santa Fe building to share space with Publicis sibling Frankel.

Also moving in with Frankel is Publicis Dialog, the holding company’s public-relations arm, which has had its own of fices, and Optimedia, which was housed with Publicis in Mid America.

While the agency’s move out of the Santa Fe building was attributed to an expiring lease and excess space at Frankel’s headquarters, there are plans to establish a “Publicis Center” in Chicago over two or three years in an effort to better link the holding company’s various units, sources said. The Publicis Groupe in Paris also owns a 49 percent stake in Chicago’s Burrell Communications.

There has been speculation on a possible restructuring of Publicis’ Chicago operations, following the company’s planned acquisition of Bcom3 and its flagship, Leo Burnett. That deal is expected to close by September.

Publicis officials, including Mid America CEO Barry Krause, were not available for comment.

Both Publicis and Frankel, like most agencies, have experienced layoffs in the past year, with Frankel losing 100 staffers in January. That left plenty of room in the direct and promotion shop’s space for its sister agency.