Publicis Groupe snaps up fashionable AR New York

Fashion items and luxury goods have proved remarkably resilient during the recession with big-spendng clients preferring to stay with smaller specialists rather than entrusting their precious wares to big agencies.

So Publicis Groupe is buying specialist agency AR New York whose clients include Banana Republic, Brioni, Smartwater and Jimmy Choo (left).

The agency was founded in 1996 by Raul Martinez and Alex Gonzalez. It employs about 60 people and will continue to be run by CCO Martinez and CCO Dianne desRoches (who sounds quite fashionable).

AR New York will become part of Publicis worldwide but keep its identity and separate HQ.

PG boss Maurice Levy has kept his cheque book under wraps recently as he prepares to complete the €416m acquisition of digital agency network LBi while deadly rival Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP has been snapping up a number of small companies to add to his various networks.

Levy, though, is more likely to surprise us with another big deal. Earlier this year his company was linked with a takeover of Interpublic, a mooted deal that was denied by both parties – rather unconvincingly.

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