Bay State Bank Taps OGBE.Communications; N.H. Shop Invests in Public Relations Resource

By David Gianatasio

BOSTON–OGBE.Communications last week won the ad account of Middlesex Savings Bank and joined forces with Porter McGee, a five-person public relations shop that will now operate as a division of the Manchester, N.H.-based agency.

OGBE, renamed from O’Neil Griffin Bodi Ekman earlier this year, got the nod from Natick, Mass.-based Middlesex Savings Bank. The review also included incumbent Rivers Doyle Walsh & Co. in Providence, R.I., which had handled the account on a project basis; and Cohn Godley Norwood and ReevesDrake, both in Boston.

Annual account billings were pegged at less than $1 million. A print campaign is set to break in suburban Massachusetts newspapers in about a month.

Middlesex Savings Bank senior vice president Brian Lanigan lauded the shop’s creative presentation, which he said portrayed the 16-branch bank as a service-oriented, consumer-friendly institution. ‘The presentation really did seem to capture the spirit of the bank,’ he said.

OGBE’s deal with Porter McGee was driven by requests from clients at both shops for integrated marketing services, officials at the agencies said.

Porter McGee has been renamed OGBE.McGee Public Relations. Senior counsel Pat McGee heads up public relations within the OGBE administrative structure, reporting to agency president Gary O’Neil.

No money changed hands in the merger deal. Rather, McGee decided there were advantages to sacrificing ownership for a chance to become part of a larger agency entity.

‘I get rid of the hassle of the administration of my own company,’ McGee said. ‘I become more productive and get more and better clients so I can be more successful.’

All of Porter McGee’s staff and clients–such as The Mall of New Hampshire and the Manchester Airport Authority–are expected to move to OGBE.

Forty-person OGBE has provided public relations services only occasionally in recent years, said agency official Pat Griffin.

Separately, OGBE senior vice president and client services director Anders Ekman has taken a post at Berenson, Isham & Partners in Boston. Ekman becomes executive vice president at Berenson, Isham, overseeing client services and business development functions.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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