It’s back to the future as DraftFCB plans to drop Draft from its name. The agency will be called Foote, Cone & Belding, or FCB, the name of Chicago’s original decades-old Mad Men agency before it merged with marketing services Draft in 2006.
The name change news comes just months after CEO Carter Murray took charge of the beleaguered agency last September, reports Crain’s Chicago Business.
Draft wouldn’t comment but issued a statement about the name change, saying, “We have been looking at every part of our agency and agency brand in the last four months to see where we can further improve our offering for our clients, our teams and prospects. It is not appropriate at this time to talk about internal discussions.”
In July, the agency filed a trademark for “FCB,” and in November filed a trademark for “Foote Cone & Belding.”
It’s rather ironic that the Interpublic-owed agency would rename itself FCB, since most of the major accounts that left the agency were legacy accounts from FCB or clients that can be traced back to FCB.
SC Johnson, its biggest and longest-running account of 58 years was a huge loss in 2011. Much of its Kraft account, and the MillerCoors business left in 2012 without a review.
DraftFCB Chicago retained Kmart, but lost its Newell Rubbermaid business, which includes the Sharpie brand, and the remainder of its U.S. Postal Service business.
Both Draft and FCB have their roots in Chicago. The agency was founded in 1873 as Lord & Thomas and was purchased in 1943 by its employees Emerson Foote, who was headquartered in New York, Fairfax Cone in Chicago and Don Belding in LA.
The book and movie, “The Hucksters,” was said to have been based on the agency.
Foote Cone & Belding Communications was formed as a holding company in 1987. The next year it entered into partnership with Publicis to set up a joint venture, Publicis-FCB.
In 1992, FCB Communications reorganized and became True North Communications, which was acquired by Interpublic in 2001.
Draft, founded by Howard Draft in 1978, was bought by Interpublic in 1996.