Cronin Acquires Wallwork

Cronin & Co. and Wallwork & Curry have joined forces in an effort to stay competitive.

The agencies’ common vision of becoming more substantial players motivated the acquisition of Boston’s Wallwork & Curry, said Bill Cronin, chairman of Cronin & Co. in Glastonbury, Conn.

“This is a great opportunity to join forces,” said Bob Curry, a principal of Wallwork & Curry. He cited the agencies’ experience with healthcare and financial clients, as well as Cronin’s direct mail and cause-related campaign expertise, as assets.

Curry and partner Jack Wallwork will continue to run the Boston office, which has been renamed Cronin/Wallwork Curry, as managing directors and executive creative directors. Cronin will retain its name and management structure in Connecticut.

No clients or employees will leave as a result of the buyout, Cronin said.

Terms between the privately held agencies were not disclosed. Sources estimated the price tag for a shop of Wallwork & Curry’s size at $1-3 million.

Wallwork & Curry reported 2000 billings and revenue of $38 million and $5 million, respectively, each figure down about 10 percent from 1999. Those numbers are believed to have eroded considerably during the first half of 2001.

Cronin grew about 25 percent in 2000, finishing the year with billings of $50 million and revenue of $7 million. The combined agencies employ 68 people; 15 are in Boston.

The two shops had been friendly over the years through their membership in the American Association of Advertising Agencies; Wallwork & Curry’s ownership decided over the past few months the time was right for an acquisition, the principals said.

Wallwork & Curry clients include Domain Home Furnishings, Sun Life of Canada and Century Bank. Key clients for Cronin include the Connecticut Lottery, Northeast Utilities, software company TriZetto, Vytra Health Plans, and the Jimmy Fund.