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Scales Seeks 'Opportunistic' Growth at Agency.com

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NEW YORK Agency.com intends to be "opportunistic" with its expansion plans, which included the acquisition of Exile on Seventh late last month and possibly others in the future.

"I don't think this is going to be the end—we're going to be opportunistic about how we look at this growth market," said Don Scales, president and chief operating officer at the Omnicom Group interactive agency. "We're coming out of depressed market conditions over the past couple of years, and we're seeing quality assets that are out there that are undervalued at this point in time."

In June, Agency.com bought Exile on Seventh, a 16-person San Francisco-based company that creates online advertising for eBay, 21st Century Insurance and Wells Fargo, among others [IQ Daily Briefing, June 29]. The price was not disclosed.

"This whole area of interactive advertising and marketing is really growing rapidly," explained Scales. "Exile on Seventh provided a real opportunity for us because it's a really good cultural fit, and it's a good organizational fit for our company. They have a great client list, and they have wonderful people. So, when you added all that together, it made for an easy decision."

Exile on Seventh, founded as an offshoot of Left Field in 1999, is moving into Agency.com's Bay Area office on Union Street, bringing the head count there to 80.

The Exile on Seventh name will be dropped, as will the moniker for Agency.com's online ad division, iTraffic; both will be combined and rebranded as the advertising group within Agency.com. (The iTraffic name will remain in London.)

Separately, Agency.com said today that it has garnered various Web design, development and online ad assignments across its offices. The New York headquarters has landed work for Holtzbrinck Publishers, while the Chicago outpost has picked up duties from The American Medical Association and Grubb & Ellis Co. The Dallas office has been selected to handle Web duties for CNL Financial Group and International Paper.