B’ham Agencies Merge to Form Intermark Gillis

Intermark Group and Gillis Advertising & Public Relations have merged, creating a
$50 million agency to be called Intermark Gillis.
The merger of the two Birmingham, Ala., shops combines agencies with different specialties into one entity “with some real competitive advantages,” said chief executive officer Billy Harvill.
“[Intermark’s] history is retail, [Gillis] is more business-to-business,” he said. “[Intermark] has interactive, [Gillis] has the extensive public relations . . . It makes sense from just about every perspective that you look at it.”
Agency president Wayne Gillis said the merger would lead to bigger account wins.
“With today’s trend toward fully integrating public relations services into the marketing mix, merging the agencies will help ensure that we can provide all of the
services necessary
to attract major accounts,” he said.
Intermark has been maneuvering to reposition itself since last year, when it was one of more than 60 U.S. shops adversely affected by General Motors’ decision to consolidate advertising at five regional agencies.
Strong Automotives, a division of Intermark, lost $25 million of Chevrolet’s Southeast dealership advertising business. Chevy is now handled by Campbell-Ewald Advertising of Warren, Mich.
Earlier this year, Strong, David Jefferson & Associates and Vulcan Advertising were consolidate into the Intermark Group.
There were no client conflicts be-tween the two shops.
Harvill said Intermark Gillis would have nearly 90 employees. He does not expect any layoffs from overlapping positions. He said the two agencies would move into a single location, likely Intermark’s, sometime in first-quarter 2000. K