Saatchi Partners with Semaphore

NEW YORK — Saatchi & Saatchi has selected Bcom3?s i-shop, Novo/Giant Step, as an interactive marketing resource, the agency network said Wednesday. The strategic alliance comes as Saatchi parent, Publicis Groupe, prepares to acquire Bcom3 in a $3 billion deal later this year.

The partnership will bolster Saatchi’s interactive capabilities, which have been scaled back since its four-year-old interactive operation, Darwin Digital, shut down in 2000.

Separately, Novo/Giant Step has changed its name to Semaphore Partners. The new moniker comes nearly ten months after the company was formed by the merger of Giant Step and Novo.

“Semaphore,” which is defined as “a visual system for sending information by flags,” is meant to convey that people can communicate despite barriers of geography, time and distance.

The San Francisco-based interactive shop has about 200 staffers in its San Francisco headquarters and Chicago, Detroit and New York offices. Its clients include General Motors, Procter & Gamble and Continental Airlines, among others.

“This new identity gives the company more consistent brand recognition with both our clients and our sister agencies within our soon-to-be expanding holding company,” said Kelly A. Rodriques, chairman and CEO of Semaphore Partners, who also held that title at the former Novo/Giant Step.