BBL, Mutrie Combine Forces Acton, Mass., Agency Adds New VP/Account Service, Clients

Seeking to generate momentum in an increasingly tough business climate, BBL Communications joined forces with Timothy Mutrie, who had previously run his own small agency.

“The focus now is the diversification of our client base,” said Barbara Sabran, president of Acton, Mass.-based BBL. The shop, which specializes in technology and business-to-business efforts, claimed about 30 employees and billings of $40 million in 2000. Staffing has fallen to 15 in recent months, and billings are currently in the $20-30 million range.

Sabran attributed the rough year to “cutbacks in the high-tech industry.”

By adding Mutrie, who brings several clients with him, including Tensor Engineering in Melbourne, Fla., and Grantham Group in Worcester, Mass., BBL hopes to start turning the tide, Sabran said.

She also noted, as a positive sign, BBL’s recent addition of print projects from NEC, Littleton, Mass.

A new print ad for the company from BBL shows a man relaxing with his dog. The copy reads, “Downtime is for people. Not servers. NEC’s new Express5800/ft series of fault tolerant servers will change the way you think about availability.”

Mutrie has taken the title of vp/account service at BBL and his responsibilities include new-business development and the implementation of internal growth strategies.

For the past eight years, Mutrie has run Mutrie Marketing & Advertising of Worcester, Mass. Formerly, he worked in TV and radio.

Specializing in collateral, public relations and related communications offerings, Mutrie of late worked mainly with a team of freelancers.

He brings no full-time employees with him to BBL, though some Mutrie contract workers may continue to be used.

“[Mutrie’s] multidimensional skill set is exactly what BBL needs as we approach new markets and demonstrate strong communications services to our client base,” said Sabran.

Mutrie had been looking to join an established regional shop for several months.