EPB Communications is betting that creative cachet can be bought. The New York-based holding company last week purchased Pagano Schenck & Kay for an undisclosed sum.
EPB chairman Jeb Brown said the Boston shop becomes the "cornerstone" of a plan to build a network of creatively focused regional agencies. Brown also expects this and future acquisitions will bolster the creative reputation of EPB, which is better known for its public relations, sales promotion and direct marketing capabilities.
Access to additional marketing services and the promise of autonomy convinced Pagano chairman and executive creative director Woody Kay, 48, that selling to EPB was in his agency's best interest.
"This gives us the resources we need to take advantage of a growing gap in our marketplace--those clients too complex to be properly serviced by boutiques but underserved by the big shops," said Kay, who would not comment on the terms of the deal.
Both Kay and president Beau Fraser retain their titles.
Pagano's national reputation for creating sharp print campaigns for clients such as the Wallpaper Council and A.T. Cross exceeds its size.
Ranked 44th on the list of New England ad agencies [Adweek, April 19], industry consultants estimated the sale price for Pagano, which in 1998 reported revenues of $3.5 million on billings of $25 million, at $2-3 million.
Both Pagano and EPB are privately held.
EPB also owns BEN Marketing in Stamford, Conn., and Atlanta and Yesawich Pepperdine & Brown in Orlando and Tampa, Fla. It claims capitalized billings of $1 billion.