Deep Focus Absorbs Sibling Agency Noise

First Reorganization at Engine Group Since Lake Capital Took Over

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Ian Schafer
Ian Schafer

Engine Group's Deep Focus will absorb sibling agency Noise, creating a new shop with more than 300 staffers, the companies said today.

The reorganization marks the first major change since Lake Capital acquired Engine, the U.K.-based holding company, and created a new U.S.-headquartered network of agencies under the Engine name.

Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer initiated talks with Noise and parent Engine in an effort to add size and insights, he said, citing Noise's research arm, The Intelligence Group.

Mr. Schafer will continue to lead his agency, while Noise CEO Joe Kessler will become president of Deep Focus. The Noise name and brand will cease to exist. Some 75 employees at Noise will be joining the 140 staffers at Deep Focus in the US. Deep Focus China has 85 staffers.

"As a combined entity we are better suited to win the assignments we want, from the brands we want," Mr. Schafer said in an email.

For Noise, the change means access to new social and digital capabilities, such as Deep Focus' real-time content group Moment Studio.

"Merging the digital marketing prowess of Deep Focus with the youth and millennial marketing expertise of Noise is another step in fulfilling Engine's promise to provide clients with best-in-class communications expertise," said John Bernbach, president of Engine USA, in a statement. "Clients want the best in each discipline, this merger enhances Deep Focus' ability to do just that."

The enlarged Deep Focus will have offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Shanghai. Combined clients include Nestlé, Intel, Purina, Pernod-Ricard, Samsung, E.&J. Gallo Winery, Yahoo, Cole Haan, YouTube, Victoria's Secret, Chase and Nordstrom. Deep Focus is currently the lead agency on Frito-Lay's Ruffles and Pernod-Ricard's Olmeca Altos brand.

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