Stable Houses Creative Talent

The Stable is an enigma in the local advertising community—a consortium of 10 companies that occasionally work together, yet in their 15 years have never marketed their services as a team.

Located in Cambridge, Mass., the Stable’s businesses, each run by one or two people, specialize in creative fields ranging from photography to film. Combined, the group can provide nearly all the services of a stand-alone advertising agency or production house.

“We work together informally. We never go out and sell the Stable’s services as a whole,” said Michael Blaber, president and founder of Fresh Pond Communications, a marketing strategy company whose clients include Babson College and Lotus Development.

Match is the newest addition to the Stable, joining the group in November. The two-person marketing design firm was added when another company dropped out, according to Laurie J. Mattaliano, who co-founded Match with Rebecca Willson.

Extensive client-side experience gives Match an edge over most marketing communications firms, Mattaliano said. The Stable had previously lacked a print designer, so Match, which has a specialty in print design, was a welcome addition. Match’s clients include Nantucket Nectars, Timberland and Tommy Hilfiger.

“[Match] came in and helped us on a new initiative,” said Kim Newman, creative director at Nantucket Nectars, a company that usually uses an in-house team for advertising. “They gave us insights not only about design, but also about marketing concepts. They were able to grasp the bigger picture.”

Some may wonder whether this “a la carte” advertising is a financially savvy way to go. “There’s certainly a niche for that since they have been around for so long, but would there be a place for three or four more places like that? Probably not,” said Bill Montbleau, president of consulting firm Montbleau Associates, Burlington, Mass. “With the economy slowing down they will probably get busier, since clients will be more cost conscious.”

The Stable’s founders are Bill Wangerin of Bill Wangerin & Associates; Roy Doolittle of Stable Productions; and Barry O’Brien of Stable Communications. The other Stable companies are Creative Works, North River Films, Multimedia Systems, Richard Pasley Photography and Auto Edit.