Tucker, Ziccardi Form Agency 212

Not much is permanent in advertising, including the names stenciled on agency doors.

“In today’s business they have to be written [on] Velcro,” said Don Ziccardi, 57, explaining why he and partner Bill Tucker are calling their new venture Agency 212. Opening this week, the shop was named to imply New York grit and sophistication and be impervious to personnel changes.

No one knows the importance of that better than Tucker, 57, whose previous shop hit a rough patch in September when creative directors Larry Hampel and Dean Stefanides defected to open a New York office for Chicago-based indie Cramer-Krasselt. They took with them about $14 million in billings and $2 million in revenue from clients Comcast, Steve Madden and BASF, Tucker said. Tucker Hampel Stefanides & Partners reverted to The Tucker Partnership, but for Tucker it was time to start over.

Consultants Richard Roth and Matt Ryan introduced Tucker to Ziccardi a few months ago. Ziccardi’s previous operation of 15 years, ZPFM in New York, closed last week after partners John Frierson and Heather Mee took client-side jobs. Tucker, as CEO, and Ziccardi, as chairman, partnered to build the critical mass that they think can get them into more pitches.

Agency 212 has 60 employees and about $160 million in billings from Quaker State, Yellow Tail, Georges DuBoeuf and Neuberger Berman (all from Tucker) and ZPFM clients Ellen Tracy, Liz Claiborne Cosmetics and Lowes Hotels, among others. Tracy Brennan-Conti, a 10-year ZPFM vet, heads creative and reports to Tucker.