Seeking to expand its digital and interactive capabilities, Campbell Mithun Esty last week announced it will acquire St. Paul, Minn.-based new media company Digital Cafe. Terms were not disclosed.
The unit will retain the Digital Cafe name and operate as an independent subsidiary of Minneapolis-based CME. Bob Safford, CME's director of integrated marketing services, will oversee the unit as chief executive officer.
CME's 10-person interactive staff will join Digital Cafe's 12 employees in St. Paul.
Digital Cafe will be free to continue its current client relationships and pursue its own business, co-founder Mike Koenig said. But he expects the alliance will bring Digital Cafe "relationships that we couldn't afford to go after or take time to develop."
Acquiring Digital Cafe also underscores CME's commitment to providing integrated marketing for its current clients, which is a necessity in the rapidly changing new media environment, Safford said.
"I can't tell you what the world's going to look like in three to five years, but we'd better be able to serve our clients," he said.
CME has created Web sites and CD-ROMs for such clients as Healthy Choice, General Mills, Land O' Lakes and Andersen Corp., but Digital Cafe brings additional technical expertise the agency has been lacking, Safford said.
"It was a perfect complement for us," he said. "We've got great strategic capabilities and account management capabilities. Where we were weak was in technical expertise."
Digital Cafe was founded in 1991 by Koenig and Dean Hyers. Over the years, the company has created screen savers for movies such as Die Hard III and the upcoming Godzilla, and developed the Chex Quest CD-ROM game for Minneapolis promotions agency WatersMolitor.