Top-flight creative shops add below-the-line services By Alison Fahe

NEW YORK As larger advertising agencies rethink how to provide integrated marketing services to clients, some midsize, creative-focused shops…

Ammirati & Puris, for instance, this summer is bringing in a high-level, veteran direct response agency executive to head its fledgling direct marketing unit.
Robert Solomon, former head of FCB Direct West, will join Ammirati & Puris Aug. 1 as executive vp/ managing director of the Direct Marketing Group.
“I think there’s tremendous opportunities for combining direct marketing with creative excellence,” said Martin Puris, Ammirati’s president/ceo.
By housing such capabilities inhouse, shops can avoid the “turf wars” larger advertising agencies like Young & Rubicam experienced when its separate profit centers– each responsible for a different discipline– competed for clients’ billings.
New York-based Ammirati & Puris already handles substantial direct marketing work for clients Compaq and United Parcel Service. Puris said the group hopes to lure more direct marketing projects from MasterCard.
Jim Desrosier, MasterCard’s vp/ advertising, said the credit card marketer prefers to work with agencies that have below-the-line services in-house.
“What’s so appealing to us about Ammirati’s (direct operation) is that it’s in-house, so you don’t have the Chinese Wall among different entities and separate P&Ls,” Desrosier said.
He also noted that the in-house structure ensures creative consistency among a client’s projects.
“The tone and the personality of the (general advertising) flows automatically into the direct marketing,” Desrosier said.
Besides Ammirati & Puris, Minneapolisbased Fallon McElligott is looking at developing integrated marketing capabilities in-house.
John Forney, a group director at Fallon McElligott, is spearheading an effort to determine which services the agency should develop.
Forney is believed to be looking at promotional, direct marketing and public relations capabilities that may be incorporated at Fallon McElligott.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)