Merger creates $100 million shop

Ebel, Signorelli & Welke/Chicago is the result of the June 1 merger of two medium-small agencies, Ebel Dunnell Merrick and Creative Alliance/Chicago, that’s created a new $100 million entity employing 50.

Founding partners are Robert Ebel (not to be confused with director Bob Ebel); Jim Signorelli, formerly of Creative Alliance/Chicago, which had been the satellite office of a 12-year old Louisville shop, and Bob Welke, former creative chief of Creative Alliance.

The new agency brings Welke back to Chicago after three years at Creative’s Louisville headquarters. Welke spent 20 years at Leo Burnett, rising to creative chief, then had a few years’ stint at Euro RSCG Tatham before joining Creative Alliance in Louisville three years ago.

ES&W’s client roster includes several KFC and Taco Bell regional co-ops and associations, Autohaus, currency exchange and payday loan stores, Delta Dental Plan of Illinois and Sunbeams. Their billings also include business at Blue Horse, a full-service Milwaukee agency that will become an ES&W satellite.

In ES&W’s future: A merger with another local shop to create a significant mid-sized agency capable of doing quality work for $5 million to $10 million accounts.