Winter to Lead Makeover of Tracy Locke

DALLAS Ed Winter has been promoted to chief executive officer of Omnicom’s Tracy Locke Partnership and will oversee a repositioning of the agency, the shop said.

Winter formerly served as vice chairman and chief strategy officer of the Dallas-based shop. He retains the vice chairmanship but takes over day-to-day operations from Gary VonKennel, who remains as chairman.

Over the past 18 months the two executives have strategized on how to reposition the agency. Winter concedes TLP’s status has caused confusion, with many in the industry unsure whether the shop handles promotions or advertising or both. The addition of three separate disciplines over the past two years has further clouded its identity.

Winter and VonKennel have decided to separate the functions with different profit and loss statements over the next few months and transform the agency into a “brand activation” network of five distinct agencies.

“We looked at what the next level of growth was like for TLP and we found it’s not really about advertising or promotions but about brand activation,” Winter said. “We said we’re a series of companies and that’s been the real change in structure . . . We just need to clarify who we are and the fact we’ve been successful.”

Advertising, which is handled at the Dallas office, and promotions, which come out of Wilton, Conn., remain TLP’s top two disciplines.

The network will also include TLP’s The Launch Point, which handles new product development and is based in Dallas; U30 Group, which performs customized research in Knoxville, Tenn.; and Uproar, a New York-based joint venture formed with sibling DDB about two months ago that specializes in children’s advertising.

“Tracy Locke’s ability to grow will be based on each of these individual pieces of the network growing,” Winter said.