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TBWA RESTRUCTURES WEST COAST OPERATIONS

New Unit to be Called TBWA/California

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide today announced a restructuring of its West Coast operations, establishing a new entity called TBWA/California and developing a "media arts" initiative.
TBWA's West Coast offices are being unified under one P&L structure as 'TBWA/California.'
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Jean-Marie Dru, CEO of TBWA Worldwide, in a statement said the establishment of TBWA/California is an effort "to discover new ways of working."

Under the reorganization, two executives will head the new unit, Lee Clow, TBWA’s chairman and worldwide creative officer, and Robert LePlae, currently president of TBWA/Chiat/Day, Los Angeles. They will oversee TBWA’s Playa del Rey and San Francisco offices, as well as marketing services shop Tequila.

Branded entertainment
Chuck McBride, North American creative director, who reports to Mr. Clow, will now have increased creative responsibility for developing branded entertainment opportunities.

James Vincent, global managing director on the agency's Apple account, will head the Los Angeles "media arts lab."

TBWA/Chiat/Day's West Coast operations have estimated billings of more than $1.3 billion with 650 employees. Last year, the agency won more than $200 million in new business, including Pedigree dog food, Sara Lee brands Ball Park and Jimmy Dean, and Pepsi. The shop also is agency for Apple's iPod and iTunes advertising and also handles Sony's PlayStation account.

Unified P&L structure
Mr. LePlae, now president-CEO of TBWA/California, said the new organization allows the office to work with one profit-and-loss structure, which, in effect, does not give preference to one type of advertising form over another, no longer pitting the TV juggernaut against wild postings, direct mail or other innovative marketing options.

Carisa Bianchi, currently chief strategic officer at the Los Angeles office, will take over at the Playa del Rey office for Mr. LePlae and report in to him. She will partner with Executive Creative Director Rob Schwartz. Ms. Bianchi also will be part of the media arts project.

Reporting to Mr. LePlae in his new post are TBWA/Chiat/Day’s San Francisco president, Mike Allen, and Tom Blessington, the managing director for the agency’s Nissan/Infiniti account. TBWA is the lead global agency on Nissan.

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