Adair-Greene Acquires Clockwork

Atlantans Combine Their Advertising Specialties of the House
ATLANTA–Seeking to strengthen its consumer marketing resumƒ, Adair-Greene acquired Clockwork Advertising last week. Terms were not disclosed.
Clockwork principals Andrew Montgomery and Chris Steele will assume executive vice presidencies at the new entity, which will expand its name to Clockwork Advertising, a division of Adair-Greene, and operate auto-nomously at A-G’s Atlanta offices. Montgomery and Steele will handle brand planning and consumer advertising, respectively.
For Adair-Greene, the acquisition of the creative boutique adds a much-needed element to an agency that has become almost exclusively associated with healthcare and pharmaceutical clients. For Clockwork, the buyout brings an expanded network of support services. Not unexpectedly, there are no client conflicts.
“Adair-Greene was built on a foundation of consumer marketing and we want to move back in that direction,” said Richard Levy, executive vice president of the $127 million firm. He said A-G’s current roster was “roughly 80-20 [percent healthcare], when we want it to be 50-50.”
Clockwork, with $3.5 million in billings, had been a finalist for the Ritz-Carlton account and a contender in Mindspring’s early 1999 radio and print review, but came up short both times. Montgomery said both potential clients expressed concern about the shop’s ability to handle a major account, not from a creative standpoint but from one of client service.
“We were pitching big national clients, but our size [six people] was holding us back,” said Montgomery.
Clockwork’s roster includes Boral Bricks, Mount Gay Rum and a variety of project work. Adair-Greene’s key clients include Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Ciba Vision, Abbott Diagnostics and Essilor of America’s Varilux eyeglass lenses.
Levy said his company is “in an active acquisition mode,” and is currently in discussions with small agencies in New York, Chicago and Miami. Adair-Greene operates a satellite office in Chicago that Levy hinted has not performed up to expectations.
Montgomery and Steele established Atlanta-based Clockwork in 1995 after leaving The Joey Reiman Agency, where they were account executives.