CHICAGO-Kragie/Newell and The Integer Group are merging to form an agency with more than $300 million in billings.
Kragie/Newell, based in Des Moines, Iowa, brings $100 million in billings and expertise in field marketing with clients including regional McDonald’s co-ops and Chevrolet dealer associations. Lakewood, Colo.-based Integer’s $205 million in capitalized billings comes from promotions, field marketing and advertising for Coors Brewing Co., Southland, Cybex, US West Communications and others.
“We’ve been discussing [a merger] for nearly two years because it’s a natural,” said Liz Newell, president and chief executive officer of 20-year-old Kragie/Newell. “We’re so similar in our philosophies and our business that there’s a natural fit. Together, we think we offer so much more for clients.”
Integer was created in 1993 when Coors sold its in-house promotional marketing division to a group of investors led by Ron Askew, now the agency’s chief executive officer. Coors remains its anchor client.
Terms of the merger, which is effective Jan. 1, 1998, were not disclosed. Integer and Kragie/Newell will merge some operations, such as accounting, to gain efficiency, but the two agencies continue to exist under their separate names for the time being.
Askew, Newell and Integer president Mark Lamperski will form the troika that oversees the combined agency.
“We’ll make combinations where it makes sense for efficiency,” said Askew, “but for effectiveness we believe that for now the two brand names will operate side by side.”
Newell said “the trend is the creation of larger, more integrated capabilities for clients. This does that for both agencies, and I think it will give us access to a larger talent pool as well as a broader range of clients.”
Integer operates a full-service office in Dallas, plus field offices in markets including Atlanta; Edison, N.J.; and Newport Beach and Sacramento, Calif. Kragie/Newell has offices in Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Detroit; and Wichita, Kan.
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