Dailey shuffles execs, strives for national rep

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Interpublic Group of Cos.' Dailey & Associates is reorganizing management to boost new business as it aims to break out of midsize shop status.

Cliff Einstein, a founder of Dailey in 1968 and well known in Hollywood circles as brother of director Albert Brooks, is cutting back involvement in the day-to-day operations of the agency, but retains the title of chairman. Brian Morris, president-chief operating officer, is taking over his position as CEO.

"We need to start to view ourselves as a national agency," said Mr. Morris. "We want to be the next new national brand."

As part of the reorganization, he said, "we are gearing up big time for new business" under Hunter Phillips, exec VP, formerly of Suissa Miller, which was merged into Dailey by parent Interpublic in late 2003. Michael Perdigao and Tom Lehr have been named managing directors, new positions. In addition, Suissa Miller founders Bruce Miller, who continues to provide strategic consulting, and David Suissa, who works on a number of accounts, each hold the title of vice chairman. Michael Folino has taken over as chief creative officer.

`eat or be eaten'

The agency, No. 23 in Advertising Age's survey of U.S. agency brands, had revenue of $89.2 million in 2003, down 1.1% from the previous year. The only other West Coast agency on the top 25 list is RPA, Santa Monica, Calif.

The shop has 500 employees, and accounts from marketers such as Nestle, Conoco-Phillips, Weyerhaeuser; the Southern California Ford Dealers; the Australian Tourist Commission and Lawry's.

Despite its size, Dailey has garnered little attention. "They're a small fish in a big pond," said the head of one San Francisco agency. "The middle is really vulnerable. The midsize agency has got to grow or you're dead," said a West Coast agency executive. "It's eat or be eaten."

Mr. Einstein said the shop doesn't think of itself as a midsize anyway. "We think of ourselves as getting bigger all the time."

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