McMurry Buys I-Shop

BOSTON McMurry, a marketing communications firm in Phoenix, said it has acquired Contact Designs, an interactive agency.

“Including the interactive work we were doing prior to the deal, and the work that Contact Designs was doing, we expect to double or triple that combined volume of interactive business within the next 18 months,” said CEO Chris McMurry.

Contact Designs in Scottsdale, Ariz., has been in business for nearly 10 years and specializes in Web site development, handling projects for clients such as Aramark, Best Western, Ellis Island, the Kansas City Star, the National Hockey League’s Phoenix Coyotes and 24 Hour Fitness.

According to McMurry, the move strengthens the shop’s expertise in programming, applications development, rich media and hosting, as well as site design.

Contact Designs principals Michael Goldfarb and Michael McCallister stay on at McMurry as svps of online services. The deal adds about 15 positions, pushing the staff total to nearly 170. Financial terms were not disclosed.

McMurry has recently worked for Amtrak, CBS and IBM, among others.

The move comes one week after another independent player, Cincinnati’s Northlich, absorbed Interactive Ink in a bid to boost its new-media offering.

McMurry and Northlich are following a global marketplace trend that has seen tech giant Microsoft and agency holding companies WPP Group and Publicis Groupe all make recent acquisitions in the interactive marketing space in order to stay competitive and gear up for an increasingly digital future.