Another Merger In S.C.

For the second time this year, two Greenville, S.C., agencies have merged operations as The Westlake Group has cast its lot with KB&A to form Kirkman Westlake Bowman, a $13 million shop with 25 employees.
Earlier this year the owners of Phillips & Goot and Greg & Greg merged to form Woofgang.
The new agency’s management structure will include Curt Westlake as director of business development, Tagg Bowman as general manager and director of client services, and Jay Kirkman as creative director.
Merger talks began last spring.
“Kirkman called me back in April and asked me to lunch,” Westlake said. “He asked if we were interested in talking about doing something together. I didn’t know that much about them and they didn’t know that much about us, but after we talked we realized we had very common goals in the kinds of business we wanted to go after.”
Westlake said there were no client defections and there would be no personnel layoffs in the aftermath of the agencies’ merger.
Kirkman Westlake Bowman’s client roster will include Mizuno USA, Milliken’s Fashion Fabrics and Greige Goods Division, Asahi Chemical Industry, Sumitomo Rubber Industries, the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Hardee’s.
“I think people reach a point where they feel they’ve gone as far as they can go,” Westlake said. “As the sole proprietor [of an agency], I always felt torn between supervising the workers, keeping the clients happy and running the business. This allows us to do a great job and concentrate on what we do best.”
By the end of the year, the merged operation will be housed in KB&A’s offices on North Main Street in Greenville.
“Everybody’s excited about what this merger means, both in terms of offering additional resources to our clients and finding the new business we want,” said Kirkman.