L.A. company opens Chicago office
in response to DDB

When DDB’s Grant Hill announced the agency’s commitment to keep its estimated $10 million-plus postproduction business in Chicago, he said the agency would not discourage companies in other production markets from opening branches in Chicago.

The first company to respond is Santa Monica’s V12 – not a post house, but a full-service production company in Santa Monica.

V12 opened an office here earlier this month in the person of producer Tracey Armstrong from L.A. The office is located in the DDB building at 200 E. Randolph.

V12 is providing graphics/animation, not editorial services here. “We have a strong relationship with DDB,” said Tony Lowe, one of V12’s three partners. & #147;We do the majority of graphics/animation on JC Penney’s.”

Low said, however, that the company is in the process of “sorting out how to service the agency’s creative requirements,” whether talent would be sent to Chicago on a project basis or if it would provide a permanent staffer from Santa Monica.

V12 has three divisions, Lowe explained. One division consists of five established commercial directors and another produces broadcast identities, such as graphics for NBA games, and is an Emmy nominee for X Games graphics.

Lowe’s partners are executive creative director David Hwang and Steve Levy. Executive producer is Bill Hughes.

Armstrong had a brief stint at V12 after returning from three years as Leo Burnett producer on Kellogg’s and P&G in Frankfurt, Germany.

Earlier, she had been an in-house producer with Ingram Micro, a large software distributor. She is married to fellow Angelino Eric Stein, a group CD at DDB on JC Penney. Previously, Stein had been a senior art director at Saatchi & Saatchi. Armstrong and Stein have been in Chicago since January.

Phone for Armstrong is 312/552-6755.