McCaffrey & McCall

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Founded as LaRoche, McCaffrey & McCall, 1966; became McCaffrey & McCall, 1972; acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi, 1983; became a subsidiary of Bates Worldwide, 1995; name changed to Bates Midwest, 1996.


On Jan. 1, 1966, the former C.J. LaRoche Co. became LaRoche, McCaffrey & McCall, with billings of $28 million and James J. McCaffrey as chairman-CEO and David B. McCall as president. The two had joined Chester J. LaRoche at his eponymous New York-based shop in 1962. By 1968, LaRoche, McCaffrey & McCall had 18 clients and more than $42 million in billings.

In 1972, after Mr. LaRoche retired, the agency dropped the LaRoche name. Also that year, the agency joined with Charles Barker & Sons, London, to form Barker McCaffrey McCall, but the partnership was dissolved within a year when Messrs. McCaffrey and McCall decided they did not need an international operation.

In 1973, Mr. McCaffrey retired and Mr. McCall assumed the roles of chairman and CEO. In 1975, Don Durgin became president of the agency after serving as an exec VP for several months. By then, the agency had 15 clients and billings of $72 million.

The next decade included many significant changes for the agency. In 1976, it lost the Rolls-Royce Motor Car account, which it had held for 12 years. It acquired the $10 million Avis Rent-A-Car System corporate account in 1982; Avis national franchisees moved their $6 million account to Bozell & Jacobs.

In 1983, in a quest to gain a strong creative presence in the U.S., London-based Saatchi & Saatchi acquired McCaffrey & McCall; however, McCaffrey & McCall continued to operate independently. Major accounts in the 1980s included Hiram Walker & Sons and Mercedes-Benz of North America.

In 1986, Robert H. Cherins became president-chief operating officer. Mr. Cherins is believed to be the first direct-marketing executive to be named president of a general ad agency; he had started McCaffrey & McCall's direct-marketing division in 1981. The promotion was seen as an indication of the agency's commitment to providing direct-marketing services. Of the agency's then 20 general advertising clients, 17 also used its direct-marketing division.

In 1988, Mr. McCall left the agency to join a political and corporate communications company, and in 1993, he formed his own communications, consulting and advertising agency. He was killed in a car accident in 1999 while on a relief mission in Albania.

In 1995, McCaffrey & McCall became a subsidiary of Bates Worldwide. The following year, its name was changed to Bates Midwest, and its headquarters relocated to Indianapolis.

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