Ken Gal, CEO of G/F/D/M, is joining Phelps Group as "head problem-solver," Mr. Phelps said. Other principals -- Bruce Dundore, a creative, and Leah Mitchell, a media strategist -- will also join the agency, he said.
Two G/F/D/M accounts -- Whole Foods' 17-store Southern California division and paint manufacturer Dunn Edwards Paints -- are transferring to Phelps Group.
The new shop will have combined billings of $50 million and 60 employees, Mr. Phelps said.
S.F. office closed
The former San Francisco office of G/F/D/M has closed, and its president and creative director, Al Fernandes, has formed a new shop, Fountainhead, San Francisco.
G/F/D/M was formed last May through the merger of two independent California agencies, Zuckerman Fernandes & Partners, San Francisco, and Asher/Gal, a shop which had its roots in Asher & Partners, a longtime Los Angeles agency that pioneered work on the California Department of Health's anti-smoking account.
Asher became embroiled in a dispute with Washington state involving the agency's failure to fully pay the state's media outlets for Washington's anti-smoking ads. Asher had the media buying assignment.