Ayer may be resurrected in Europe

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FRANKFURT - D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles' U.S. parent, the MacManus Group, plans to create a second network in Europe under the NW Ayer name, if a team working out of DMB&B's Frankfurt, Germany office wins the $20m-$25m General Motors account to promote its U.S. cars in Europe.

The move, which has not been officially announced, has been precipitated by the need to avoid conflict with the Fiat account, which DMB&B handles in Europe.

"A team has been pulled together from around the network (into the DMB&B Frankfurt office), but everyone fully understands that if we are fortunate enough to win the business, that will be the NW Ayer operation," says Bill Haney, executive VP of the New York-based MacManus Group."A (NW Ayer) network will develop very quickly if we win it."

Newly appointed DMB&B Germany Chairman and CEO Michael Roehle says NW Ayer Frankfurt has not yet been registered as a company, nor does it have its own telephone number. But, says Haney, "this is not DMB&B pitching, although there are people from DMB&B in the team."

Roehle, previously CEO of DMB&B's Frankfurt and Duesseldorf offices, has replaced Manfred Wetzel, who has left the agency after 18 years. In the past, Johan Hofstra, managing director for DMB&B Northern Europe, was responsible for the German group. The former NW Ayer network, which is now privately owned, has been renamed Wilkens International.

Copyright November 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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