SAN DIEGO – A deal expected to be completed by the first of next month will merge Phillips-Ramsey, a division of McCann-Erickson, and Knoth & Meads here into a $50-million ad agency, the largest in the San Diego area.
The new agency will assume the Phillips-Ramsey name and that shop’s current headquarters location. Richard Brooks, P-R executive vp/gm, will retain his post. K&M’s Gary Meads becomes senior vp/executive director of client services. K&M’s Tony Durket takes the title of senior vp/co-creative director, and P-R’s Bob Kwait becomes executive vp/co-creative director.
The merged agency has resigned Scripps Clinic and Research Foundations, which had been a P-R client, to avoid a conflict with Sharp Healthcare, a K&M account. No other client conflicts exist. The principals said they have not yet determined whether and how many staff cuts will result from the merger.
For K&M, with billings of about $13 million and 24 employees, the merger brings a depth of services, including research, strategic planning and sales promotion, it was unable to provide on its own. ‘We’re going to see tremendous benefits for our existing clientele,’ said Meads of the merger plans. ‘How it translates to new business is yet to be seen.’
P-R, though it’s captured some of the largest and most prestigious accounts in the area, including the San Diego Zoo and Bumble Bee Seafoods, has largely been unable to expand into other geographic regions, a goal it had set since it hooked up with McCann.
‘Whether there is true magic about the $50 million, time will tell,’ said Brooks. ‘Certainly there are reviews in the $5-10-million range that we’ll feel more qualified to get into.’
The company’s other accounts include WD-40 Co., San Diego Trust and Savings, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, on the P-R side, and Davidson Communities and Aldila Golf Equipment from the K&M side.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)
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