FCB in talks with London agencies over merger

FCB is looking to buy a UK advertising agency and is talking to a handful of London shops.

Brendan Ryan, president and chief executive of FCB Worldwide, says: “It is no secret that we are talking to a number of agencies. We want to buy in London, but nothing is imminent.”

He refuses to name which agencies FCB is talking to, though Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters is known to have been in discussions during the summer.

FCB is part of True North, which also owns the Bozell Network – the UK arm of which is Delaney Fletcher Bozell.

FCB has billings of about 45m, ranking it as a medium to small agency, although it is one of the bigger networks in the States.

FCB has appointed Tony Douglas, chief executive of the Central Office of Information, as chairman of FCB Europe.

He will take up his job next month. His brief is reported to include expanding the agency’s European network through acquisition. He will also be charged with reviving its flagging performance in the UK.

FCB won the Bristol Myers Squibb’s 7m Clairol haircare account last January. It was awarded the 1m Nabisco’s Oreo launch account in the same month. Other UK accounts include Tropicana and Rowenta.

Chicago-based True North has denied rumours of an FCB Bozell merger in Europe.

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