LEO BURNETT TO LAUNCH NEW CUSTOMER GROUP UNIT

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Leo Burnett Co. , Chicago, dismantled its Northstar direct and database unit and is rolling it into a new operation called Leo Burnett Customer Group.

The new Bcom3 Group unit will open Oct. 1 at Burnett's Merchandise Mart location, which was once the home of the now-defunct Leo Burnett Technology Group.

Peter Steinhauser will lead the group as executive vice president and managing director. He rejoined Leo Burnett in January from president of Lowe Lintas Columbian, which was absorbed by Interpublic Group of Cos.' Draftworldwide last summer.

Bob Price, who joined Burnett in April from creative director at M&C Saatchi Asia/Pacific, Sydney, will serve as the group's executive creative director. Rick Capps, founder-CEO of sibling Capps Digital, will help build the operational structure.

In March, Northstar President-CEO Peter Volz stepped back from that role after clients Philip Morris Cos. and the U.s. Army were rebundled as stand-alone brand teams, an agency spokeswoman said.

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