Dentsu Realigns Offices to Facilitate Carmaker Business

Creates Two Arms Within Agency: One for Toyota, the Other for Suzuki

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Dentsu America is realigning its U.S. shops on the East and West Coasts to facilitate the acquisition of more business from Toyota Motor Sales USA, among others.
Dentsu America has offices in Chicago and San Jose and also owns Renegade, a guerilla-marketing firm based in New York.
Dentsu America has offices in Chicago and San Jose and also owns Renegade, a guerilla-marketing firm based in New York.

Dentsu's Colby & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., and a small Dentsu America media-buying shop in Marina Del Rey, Calif., will be combined and renamed Dentsu America Los Angeles. The Santa Monica operation, just down the road from Toyota's U.S. headquarters, will become part of the New York offices of Dentsu America under CEO Tim Andree.

The Colby offices in Brea, Calif., which handle Suzuki, and Colby's New York office, with clients including Sharp Electronics, will be combined into a yet-to-be-named Dentsu agency headed by Paul Katzka. Mr. Katzka, who has headed the Suzuki account, will be president of those two offices.

Separate operations for conflicts
The new alignment creates two separate Denstu brands, one to house Suzuki and a second for Toyota. Dentsu's New York office currently handles a Toyota branding assignment as well as the Scion interactive business. The alignment also maintains a separation between Dentsu's New York office, which handles Canon, and the new Brea operation in Southern California, which will house Sharp.

Rick Colby, president of Colby & Partners, has left the agency after a decade in which he built the shop from $15 million in billings to more than $200 million in billings. Clients have included Bandai Software, Doman Chandon, Sutter Home Winery and the California Avocado Commission. "I'm moving on and have plans to start another agency," said Mr. Colby, adding he is looking to center his new shop more on interactive marketing with local and regional clients.

Dentsu, one of the world's largest advertising agencies, has been in the U.S. since 1966. Dentsu has $350 million in billings in North and South America, with about $150 million of that total held by offices in the U.S. In addition to the Dentsu and Colby operations, Dentsu America has offices in Chicago, San Jose, and owns Renegade, a guerilla-marketing firm based in New York.

Owns 15% of Publicis
For many years, Dentsu, which handles Toyota in other nations, has targeted the U.S. Toyota business, currently at Saatchi & Saatchi. Dentsu now owns 15% of Saatchi's parent company, Publicis Groupe.

Mr. Andree, who joined Dentsu in June as the agency's first local head of the agency with the charge of growing the brand in the U.S., changed the agency's name from DCA to Dentsu America. The shop is interested in growing business from its current clients, he said. "We have a mandate to grow in this market," he said. However, he added, the realignment "isn't designed to do anything other than to consolidate" the offices.
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