CHICAGO-Media buying agency Media That Works in Cincinnati has entered a joint operating agreement with two West Coast agencies in an effort to broaden the bases of each partner.
The new unit, called MTW Media Group, couples the broadcast buying expertise of MTW with the print buying and database capabilities of The Newspaper Network in Sacramento, Calif., and direct response agency Williams Worldwide in Santa Monica, Calif.
Combined billings for the partners is approximately $500 million, according to Bill Price, chairman of 12-year-old MTW. His agency brings more than $200 million to that billings total, he said.
"This is a marriage of three agencies that about the same age and the same size, all highly regarded in their areas and all intent on moving forward," Price said. "Together, we offer a powerful combination."
Each agency continues to service its clients and seek new business of its own and for MTW Media Group, where appropriate. "Each of us has the opportunity, and the obligation, to present MTW Media Group's services" to prospective clients, Price said.
Tim Hanke, who joined MTW's office in San Diego in January as an executive vice president and partner was the driving force for the alliance, Price said. He had worked in the past with Newspaper Network president Jerry Grilly and Williams Worldwide's chief executive Kathleen J. Williams and suggested the three shops look at pooling capabilities.
MTW Media Group will operate from offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles.
Last month, MTW was assigned the $10 million media buying account for the Detroit-based Frank's Nursey & Crafts chain. Other clients include Andrew Jergens, Clopay Building Products, Easy Spirit/Nine West, Steak 'n Shake and Starkist.
Williams Worldwide's client roster includes Quaker State, Philips Electronics, Hoover and the Los Angeles Times.