Malone Network in JWT Fold

CHICAGO JWT, through its parent WPP Group, has acquired retail marketing agency Malone Advertising, according to the shop. Terms were not disclosed.

“JWT practically invented the classic advertising model,” said Malone president Fred Bidwell. “We complement their great branding skills with great ways to activate purchases through retail channels.”

Malone, a 62-year-old independent shop in Akron, Ohio, has 200 full-time employees and recorded unaudited 2004 revenue of $13.4 million, according to Bidwell. The shop shares a few clients with JWT, in particularly Pfizer, Kimberly-Clark and Nestle. The shop also has close ties to many retailers, including Wal-Mart.

“Retail marketing partnerships with retailers are much more important parts of the mix as media become more fragmented,” Bidwell said. “JWT, like the other networks, is looking to expand to reach the consumer closer to the point of purchase.

The shop, which had billings of $200 million last year, has six offices in the U.S. and an outpost in Toronto. In addition to Akron, the agency’s U.S. offices are located in Atlanta, Bentonville, Ark., Dallas, Minneapolis, and Newport Beach, Calif.