Brouillard Communications, a division of J. Walter Thompson Co., is merging its Washington operations with the parent company, despite an expensive local advertising campaign designed to make a name for the firm.
Industry sources say the closing of the Brouillard operation comes after a year of some successes but also a time of friction between the three JWT units here.
JWT, the world's largest advertising company, has an advertising office in the District, but also owns Hill & Knowlton Inc., the city's largest public relations firm. JWT bought Hill & Knowlton this year for $28 million.
Peter Gridley, who will move up in the company's Washington office to become general manager of the domestic JWT arm, said the company decided "we could pursue our goals as a single unit." Gridley said the approximately 30 Brouillard employes would be incorporated into the JWT operation.
Gridley denied that the abandonment of the Washington Brouillard office was a "black eye" as some Washington advertising officials had suggested. "What we did was successful," he added. "We never lost any accounts."
JWT's historic Washington advertising focus has been a lucrative deal with the Marine Corps and another with USAir. The Brouillard operation was billed as an effort to expand JWT's presence here by emphasizing issue-oriented advertising and public relations. Gridley said the JWT Washington office had launched a major effort to seek clients with Washington home bases.
In a major newspaper advertising campaign this year, Brouillard billed itself as the "one company in town" which understands how to deal with specialized governmental affairs issues.
Although Brouillard is maintaining New York and Pittsburgh offices, the Washington operation was to be a showpiece of the new JWT effort, industry officials pointed out.
The company is named for Joseph Brouillard, an executive with JWT.