Thompson, Phoenix Form Agency

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After collaborating successfully on work for the Ford Motor Co., J. Walter Thompson Total Solutions Group and the Phoenix Group have formed Phoenix Thompson Connect.

"J. Walter Thompson acquires customers and does a lot of different types of advertising. Phoenix has been helping retain customers and manage customer relationships," said Neil Baudhuin, account group manager for international business for the Phoenix Group, Farmington Hills, MI. "We decided it would be a good idea to create a joint program and be involved from the beginning."

Phoenix Thompson Connect will be headquartered in Detroit but is looking to expand through partnerships or acquisitions in Latin America and Europe. Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed, and both companies will invest in and co-manage the new venture, Baudhuin said.

"We are essentially jointly building bricks and mortar into a company," he said.

The partnership will continue its work with Ford. Moving forward, it most likely will begin by focusing on new opportunities in the automotive industry. Walter Thompson Total Solutions Group CEO Michael Graham said the two agencies' services are well-matched.

"This unique partnership allows us to combine already complementary resources and pool the value of our existing relationships, such as our joint work for Ford," he said.

J. Walter Thompson Total Solutions Group, New York, is a unit of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, part of WPP Group, London. Phoenix Group is part of Moore Corp. Ltd., Toronto.

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