Parent Consolidates in Atlanta; O'Keefe to Cut All Ties, Start Anew
ATLANTA--CadmusCom in Richmond, Va., will close at the end of this month. The advertising arm of graphic communications parent Cadmus Communications Corp. will be absorbed into the company's Atlanta CadmusCom office.
"We've been working on integrating the office for some time . . . [but] the thought of consolidating the two has only been in the works for the past month," said agency president Kelly O'Keefe, who will sever all ties with Cadmus.
CadmusCom's Richmond office employs 20 full-time staffers and tallies $15 million in billings annually. The Atlanta office, which recently changed its name from 3Score, has billings of $60 million and approximately 75 employees. O'Keefe said he expects "about eight or nine" of the Richmond crew to move to Atlanta.
"It seemed like we had duplication of resources and thus expenses," said Steve Isaac, executive vice president of marketing communications for the parent corporation, also in located Richmond. "It was more of a natural evolution."
Isaac said CadmusCom's creative director Tony Platt would remain in Richmond "for as long as he stays with us."
O'Keefe sold his original shop, O'Keefe Marketing, to Cadmus in 1996, about 18 months after it was named Adweek's Southeast agency of the year.
One of the earliest agencies to realize and capitalize on the Internet, O'Keefe Marketing also sold proprietary rights to an interactive technology called Printelligence that was valuable for its new parent's printing operations.
There has been speculation in the Richmond ad community about the marriage of two diverse corporate philosophies from the beginning. O'Keefe ran a loose but fiercely loyal band of freethinkers who worked amid pinball machines and a life-size Big Boy icon; Cadmus is a more button-down, bottom-line environment.
"I remember feeling I needed to be part of a larger agency to get the big wins," O'Keefe said. "But as we got bigger, we got into all sorts of areas and I think we got ahead of the curve.
. . . Ultimately, if I had to do it all over again, I think I would have stayed the course."
O'Keefe, 39, said he plans to remain in Richmond and will likely form a new shop or
pursue a partnership after taking off two or three months to spend with his family. "I could retire and not feel like I have a lack of success," O'Keefe said. "But the real challenge now is to top it."