Imagine buying your company back and then selling it again within a few weeks time. That's what Peter Arnell has done with Arnell Group. Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftWorldwide owned part of the company and Mr. Arnell bought it back last month. This past week Arnell sold 100% of his outfit to Omnicom. For how much? "It's not material to Omnicom so we don't disclose things like that," says John Wren, Omnicom's CEO.
Arnell had been talking to WPP and Omnicom. Both companies expressed big-time interest in his new multicultural unit PASS and his partner Steve Stoute, the talented head of black music at Interscope Records.
One might see parallels between Arnell's business moves and his favorite sport, . He met Stoute at the TriBeCa sushi joint Nobu. Recently, he was spotted sharing a table at another restaurant with Wren. Several months ago, before Arnell left Interpublic, Adages was treated to a lively session with Arnell and Stoute at Nobu. Before they sat down at their own table-their regular place is directly behind the hostess-they spotted Donald Trump and bolted to his table. Later, Trump and his date hopped over to Arnell's table. "You wanna know about Peter," said Trump to Adages, "give me a call."
Arnell also has been spotted with Martha Stewart lately. The upshot? Arnell will be handling advertising and marketing for Stewart's Omnimedia, excluding the work TBWA/Chiat/Day does for Kmart and its Stewart connection. "They handle Kmart and we will handle Martha," says Arnell.
Arnell also landed a piece of the Chrysler business. What piece exactly? "Ideation, I'm doing creative ideas for the Chrysler brand," says Arnell. "The services he will provide are just what we're missing in the PentaMark deal," says Wren, who introduced Arnell to Chrysler before buying his shop. Omnicom's PentaMark handles the entire Daimler-Chrysler account. Doesn't Chrysler conflict with Maserati, a $10 million account Arnell won in April? A Chrysler spokeswoman says the automaker doesn't compete against them. Chrysler has the Viper, a $78,000 car; a Maserati costs more than $100,000. A Maserati spokesman says "We are comfortable with the situation."
The Big Time
There's a new band in New York, The Big Richards. Their new demo CD features tunes with insightful lyrics such as the following: "Since you've been gone, you know it's been so long. Why don't we figure out just where it all went wrong." Who are these budding rock geniuses? D'Arcy employees. Lead vocalist is Jenni Katz, public relations, bassist Adam Regan, group creative director, lead guitarist Brad Stratton, music producer, on drums Graham Woodall, EVP-exec creative director. Also on board guitarist Brian Jones, senior music producer at Bang Music.
Contributing: Jean Halliday.
Email Llittle Richard at [email protected]