Arc and McWilliams in 20m merger

Arc Advertising is to buy in the McWilliams Partnership, in a merger expected to create a 20m billing agency.

Peter Steadman will remain chief executive of Arc. John McWilliams, chairman and creative partner of the McWilliams Partnership, is likely to become managing director of the combined agency, which will continue to be called Arc.

Arc’s main clients include Thames Water Authority, Zetter Pools and Gruner&Jahr, with industry estimates putting total agency billings at 15m. The agency recently created the TV branding campaign to announce the merger of Royal Insurance and Sun Alliance, forming the new company Royal Sun Alliance. Earlier this year the agency appointed Will Hamilton as its marketing director, after Tim Coton left to join FCB.

McWilliams set up the McWilliams Partnership four years ago. Its main clients are Debonair Airways and Times Supplements, with total billings of between 5m and 6m.

Recent successes include winning the account for the youth cable channel Rapture, but the agency has also lost clients, including Liberty Radio in August.

There are thought to be no account conflicts and no redundancies are expected as a result of the merger.

No one from Arc or the McWilliams Partnership was available for comment.

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