Larry Weber will have to build McCann-Erickson's global public relations empire with three fewer staffers in his London office.
Steve Earl, Tanya Lepojevic and Stephen Waddington resigned their account service posts to join Rainier Corp.'s fledgling London outpost. The three now share the title of co-directors and report to Stephen Schuster, president and founder of the Princeton, Mass.-based marketing firm.
"They loved Weber Group when we were a smaller, emerging company," said Weber. Moving to Rainier gives the trio the chance "to do the same thing" and once again build up a business almost from scratch. "I can't take that away from them," he said.
Chosen largely on word-of-mouth recommendations from U.K. business editors, the three bring no clients with them to Rainier, Schuster said.
Rainier currently handles six overseas clients, mainly high-tech companies in the U.K., Sweden, Israel and France. In addition, several domestic clients, including the digital light processing division of Texas Instruments, will make use of the agency's new office to pursue European marketing initiatives, Schuster said.
The agency also works for Harris & Jeffries, Dedham, Mass., for which it recently concocting a national print campaign positioning the client's products as the "Ultimate networking software." Harris & Jeffries handled ad placement in-house; Rainier does not have media buying capabilities.
With a background in engineering and a master's degree in business, Schuster founded Rainier in 1993 after serving as director of marketing and general manager of Data Translation in Marlborough, Mass.
"I worked with agencies and got tired of rewriting their stuff," so he formed an agency of his own, Schuster said. A longtime Seattle-area resident, Schuster named his shop for Mount Rainier in Washington state.
Rainier currently has 21 employees and claims about $2 million in billings and fees, he said. Revenues are evenly split between public relations and creative services.