Global identity group FutureBrand is merging with Interpublic Group stablemate, packaging and branding network The Coleman Group Worldwide. The resulting group, trading under the FutureBrand banner, is claimed to be one of the world’s biggest branding players. Projected turnover for 2000 is $100m (£63.5m).
The move includes IPG’s two UK consultancies, identity-to-interiors group FutureBrand Davies Baron and packaging and branding specialist Coleman Planet. Both will now trade as FutureBrand UK.
Coleman has a majority stake in groups in its network, but all are expected to trade as FutureBrand by the end of the year.
Under the deal, Charles Trevail, who joined FutureBrand last year from Enterprise IG, becomes chief executive of FutureBrand UK. The Coleman Group’s former European head Stephen Merry becomes chief operating officer.
Their opposite numbers in New York are Larry Drury and Jonathan Asher. John Elkins, co-founder of IPG’s former US identity specialist Diefenbach Elkins, is chief executive officer of FutureBrand Worldwide, while Coleman Group founder Owen Coleman takes responsibility for packaging, structural design and new ventures.
FutureBrand rivals include WPP Group’s Enterprise IG, Y&R-owned Landor Associates and Interbrand. But while they are identity-driven, Trevail says, “This is about putting packaging and identity together.”
Target sectors include airlines, telecoms, retail, consumer goods and financial services.
Expansion is on the cards, with Brazil and the Far East in the group’s sights. Elkins also talks of an interest in “the broadcast area” and in industrial design.