Epsilon Absorbs Connecticut’s Catapult Marketing Into Its Larger Agency Network

By Patrick Coffee 

More than five years after acquiring Hyper Marketing for an estimated $460 million dollars, data marketing juggernaut Epsilon has folded Westport, CT-based Catapult Marketing into its larger ad practice, Epsilon Agency.

“Epsilon and Catapult have combined into one entity, strengthening and expanding our full agency services offering,” said a company spokesperson. “The alignment provides clients with more robust capabilities across data and insights, analytics, branding, digital, CRM, shopper/retail and cross channel advertising and marketing. For the time being, the brands will continue to operate under the Epsilon and Catapult names.”

Richard McDonald, Agency president at Epsilon, will be running the combined entity.

“We bought Catapult as part of HMI back in 2012, and 6 years later it made sense from a couple of angles to bring the groups together … to bring Catapult closer to the mothership of Epsilon to benefit more from data, analytics, and digital media [services],” McDonald said. “It started as a shopper marketing agency, and had aspirations to spread its wings further.”

He added that Epsilon Agency will now serve all existing Catapult clients and that the decision was not related to Catapult’s recent performance.

“It was more based on our belief and ambition to harness the horsepower of Epsilon,” he said, “And the best way to do that is to lead Epsilon’s growth through agency relationships: Using data to define growth opportunities and change up the agency landscape a bit.”

McDonald also noted that the organizations have been fully integrated into one structure with a single P&L and unified creative, accounts and strategy teams. “We will still keep the Catapult brand around for historical reasons … they had a good reputation in the marketplace,” he said.

Sources tell us that several longtime Catapult leaders have departed in concurrence with this shift, including CEO Paul Kramer and CMO/former Ogilvy VP Peter Cloutier. President Joe Robinson also recently left the Minneapolis office along with an unspecified number of additional staffers for a job at Nordeast Marketing Group.

We don’t believe there will be other major staffing changes to come for the agency, which was born in 2005 as a subsidiary of D.L. Ryan Companies. That organization later became HMI in early 2012, 10 months before the Epsilon acquisition.

Epsilon remains one of the smaller consultancies allegedly coming for your business (or not), but it has gone up against creative shops in pitches like the 2016 Del Monte review.

Clients include Kraft-Heinz, KitchenAid and Burt’s Bees.