Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Mar 10, 2014

Draftfcb simplifies agency name to FCB in global change

NEW YORK / SINGAPORE - Draftfcb will reconnect with the heritage of Foote, Cone & Belding and drop the 'Draft' part of its name seven years after the two agencies merged.

Draftfcb simplifies agency name to FCB in global change

Specifically, apart from the global network being called FCB, local market-by-market elements will be appended to the initials. Typically, each office will add the city in which it operates as a local moniker—for instance, FCB Shanghai, FCB Paris or FCB Chicago. The offices will loosely depict the colours of country flags to illustrate devotion to their local markets.

In some markets, FCB will add the name of an acquired company, such as in London, where the moniker will be FCB Inferno, due to its local equity and relevance.

Specialist units will also append their areas of expertise, as in the case of FCB Health.

And, in rare cases, the name of a highly respected creative leader will further enhance the office’s reputation. That is the situation in New York, where the agency is being renamed FCB Garfinkel.

In a telephone interview, global CEO Carter Murray (pictured) told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Draft and FCB are now "one seamless offering", with the simplified brand name reflecting a "focused identity and direction”. Howard Draft, Draftfcb executive chairman and the original head of the Draft side of the merger, remains in his position and also serves as a key advisor to Murray.

Six months after joining Draftfcb from Y&R, Murray wanted to examine the agency's fundamentals and "get them under my belt before we really started work on this [global rebranding] two months ago", he said.

The agency chose to orient toward FCB instead of Draft because FCB is the third oldest ad brand in the world, having been founded in 1873. "Draft is also a great brand, around for more than 30 years, but heritage was the deciding factor," said Murray.

“All of the capabilities that made Draft such an industry leader are still important and essential to the future of FCB, including CRM, analytics, retail and activation," Murray said. "We will continue to invest in and deliver on all of these while ensuring a strong overall creative product.”

Although neither Murray nor Sebastien Desclée (president of Draftfcb International) is based in Asia—a region considered a bellwether for the rest of the world—Murray said local strengths are championed with the rebranding that moves away from "one conformist identity".

"We're sending a crystal-clear message that we celebrate the expertise of our offices at a local level; and that we look after our local talent and empower them," he said.

Asked whether confusion might arise, as some assert happened with the 2012 rebranding of Euro RSCG agencies to Havas Worldwide, Murray pointed out that the FCB change is merely a distillation of the existing brand name, so it is different from a total renaming.

"We are doing our rebranding in the same way we would advise clients if they were to do so, in their best interests," he said.


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