Cook Marketing Is Set to Close

Cook Marketing Communications is closing its doors.

Sources confirmed that the Jacksonville, Fla., agency, unable to recover from the loss of its mainstay Winn-Dixie business earlier this year, will cease operations at the end of the month.

The Robin Shepherd Group, also in Jacksonville, has entered into a preliminary agreement to absorb Cook’s remaining accounts and an as yet undisclosed number of its staff.

“We have formed a relationship with them to meet the needs of their clients,” said Nancy Seely, RSG’s senior vice president. “We’re working out the details.”

CMC, formerly headed by William Cook, the man credited with first marketing grocery chains on television, had served Winn-Dixie for more than 30 years. It lost the account’s $40 million in annual billings to Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago. An eleventh-hour alliance (and potential buyout) with Bozell in New York could not save the business.

Englishman Robin Shepherd, a former creative director at CMC, founded his namesake agency in 1984. The shop, with a satellite office in Atlanta, counts Merck’s Merial veterinary products and BlueCross/Blue Shield of Florida among its accounts.