US group plans ‘fierce’ growth

New York design consultancy Diefenbach Elkins is looking to “fiercely” expand into London and Asia following its acquisition by The Interpublic Group of Companies, owner of advertising agency McCann-Erickson.

IPG is paying an undisclosed sum for the corporate brand consultancy, which has an estimated annual revenue of 9.37m.

Diefenbach Elkins chairman and chief executive officer John Diefenbach will head up McCann-Erickson’s newly formed Brand Equity division, to operate parallel to the ad agency network.

Corporate branding offices under the Diefenbach Elkins name are planned for London and Asia – either through expansion or acquisitions. “We want to expand… using the contacts and infrastructure of IPG,” says Diefenbach Elkins president John Elkins, “We are anxious to build our business.”

London is the primary target, according to Elkins. “We are talking to a few people,” he adds, and hopes to have both the new offices up and running by the end of the year.

“The business we have been in is expanding dramatically,” says Elkins, whose clients have included Esso, Lufthansa, Master-Card and South African Airways. “We will be a fierce competitor.”

Corporate identity expansion will be followed by the acquisition of packaging design outfits, says Elkins, although: “We are less interested [in packaging].”

Diefenbach Elkins, which was founded in 1991, already has offices in San Francisco and Toronto. It plans to add a design capability to its existing Stockholm outfit and bring in interactive specialists in the US.

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