DraftFCB Creates New Company With Aggressive Platform: The Big Idea Wins

It's a propitious launch date: Jan. 1 is the kickoff for DraftFCB, the newly melded marketing-communications agency created from the combination of IPG sister companies: direct-marketer Draft and creative firm Foote Cone & Belding.

The nascent yet familiar-sounding company made the announcement yesterday, accompanied by a new organizational and operational structure. It also unveiled two catchphrases to describe the added benefits and services that DraftFCB will offer clients.

Howard Draft will be Chairman and CEO of the company, while Jonathan Harries, formerly Chief Creative Officer at FCB, will be its global CCO. Laurence Boschetto, previously president and COO of Draft's global operations, has been promoted to president and COO of DraftFCB.

In a phone interview yesterday, Harries touted DraftFCB as "a new kind of agency where ROI is going to stand for Return on Ideas. We're going to erase the lines between advertising and marketing services, and let the best idea win," Harries said. "We will separate the good idea from the big idea."

The new reading of ROI is one of two catchy phrases the agency rolled out. The other is "Insight to Incite," which Harries described as a two-step process. First, strategic thinkers use research to gain insight, then creative people from all disciplines take that insight to achieve the latter, finding the central idea that will connect with consumers.

The new agency, which will employ more than 9,000 people across 110 countries, officially begins operations with one P&L statement on Jan. 1. DraftFCB estimates that it will take another year or so to complete the global rollout of the new brand.

Bob Oates, most recently FCB's CFO, is taking on the same role at DraftFCB. Harries, Boschetto and Oates will each report directly to Draft, as will Wally Petersen, most recently chief communications officer at Draft, who takes the same role at DraftFCB.

Harries said that DraftFCB is pioneering an agency model that will be increasingly common in the years to come. "You're going to be seeing this all the time now," he said. "In the next six months, don't be surprised if you see this happening with several other big-name agencies. It had to happen. It has to happen."

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