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Dentsu Gobbles up New York Agency M.L. Rogers

Independent to Merge With Japanese Giant's Stateside Operations

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Japanese ad giant Dentsu continues to expand in the West, with the acquisition of New York-based creative shop M.L. Rogers.

The independent agency will merge with Dentsu's U.S. flagship agency, Dentsu America . The M.L. Rogers name will disappear and both shops will function under the Dentsu America name going forward. M.L. Rogers has nearly 20 employees, who will be combined with the nearly 90 employees that Dentsu America houses in its downtown Manhattan headquarters.

Executives said the deal stems from a single client the two shops share: This summer, Dentsu won the Scotts digital business in September and started working collaboratively with Rogers, which handles the traditional creative. M.L. Rogers' other clients include Checkers/Rally's restaurants and Blistex, as well as project work for Moet Hennessey.

"We're better together than we are apart and more and more clients are asking for that type of integration and collaboration," Tim Andree, CEO of Dentsu Network West, told Ad Age . "The two agencies, because of their chemistry and the complement between the talent, will end up coming together as one stronger team. We expect the Dentsu clients and Rogers clients to be served better as a result and we expect it to grow."

Dentsu America 's biggest clients include Canon U.S.A. and Toyota Motor North America. It is part of Dentsu Network West -- a group of companies the Japanese ad giant owns in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia -- helmed by Mr. Andree. Those companies include 360i , Attik, McgarryBowen, Firstborn and Steak.

Said M.L. Rogers President Mike Rogers in a statement: Our core values align with those of Dentsu America and the larger Dentsu network, making this an excellent fit."

David Cameron, an alum of shops such as McGarryBowen , JWT and DDB, who for the last two years served as chief of strategic development for Dentsu Network West, will take on the role of CEO for the newly merged agency. Mr. Rogers will join Dentsu America as vice chairman, while Dentsu America President Doug Fidoten will become Dentsu Network West's first global client leader.

As Ad Age indicated in its 2012 look-ahead report this month, agencies will continue to see a wave of consolidation activity this year. The activity is already heating up, considering that in the first week of 2012 alone, two deals were finalized. In addition to this acquisition, MDC Partners just bought media agency RJ Palmer.

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