FCB Worldwide, a network within US-based True North Communications, is to merge its FCB Direct and FCB Digital subsidiaries to form FCBi, a new customer-relationship management business.

The new worldwide direct and interactive operation will employ 850 staffers across 27 countries, with combined billings of around $775 million and a client portfolio including AT&T, Compaq Computer and Warner Brothers. FCB Direct president and chief executive Steve Humphrey, 57, will assume identical roles at FCBi.

FCB is also launching Analytici, a database technology and management unit with fifty staff working on accounts such as Bristol-Myers Squibb. In the driving seat as president is Steve Horne, 42, former executive vice president for marketing technologies at FCB.

News source: Wall Street Journal