Harpell/Martins Looks Ahead, Will Launch West Coast Outpost

With a growing client roster and increased momentum, technology marketing specialist Harpell/Martins & Co. will open a West Coast office next month.
The Maynard, Mass., agency plans to launch a five-person outpost in San Jose, Calif. The office will initially service new client Netcom On-Line Communications, an Internet access provider in San Jose. Netcom, which spends about $3 million on ads each year, tapped Harpell/Martins for collateral and direct marketing projects.
Agency president Pat Harpell expects the outpost to become active in West Coast pitches and provide some creative services to clients.
In an effort to diversify its technology base and add a broader range of business-to-business clients, Harpell/Martins has also picked up the ad account of United Water following a review of undisclosed shops. The Harrington, N.J.-based client provides consultation services on water and wastewater treatment to municipalities nationwide. Billings on the account are about $1 million.
Harpell/Martins has been one of New England’s fastest-growing small agencies, claiming billings of approximately $23 million in 1996, a 160 percent increase over 1995. That growth has continued into 1997, with current billings in the $30 million range.
The agency currently employs about 40 people.
The agency has created a print campaign with the tagline “We can do that . . . and more.” The ads will break in vertical publications targeting mayors and city managers.
Netcom agreed last week to be purchased by ICG Communications in Englewood, Colo. The pending acquisition “only strengthens” Harpell/Martins’ relationship with Netcom, said agency official Laura Bendon.
Harpell/Martins is currently in the process of signing a lease. Agency president Pat Harpell is looking to hire staff from California to build the office.