Davis Advertising Opens in Southeast

BOSTON As many shops have contracted and specialized to survive, independent traditional agency Davis Advertising has gone against the grain, launching an office in Greenville, S.C.

Initially, the outpost will service longtime client Charter Communications, the telecom giant. Davis, based in Worcester, Mass., works for several divisions of the company, including its units in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana and Virginia.

The agency seeks to quickly cultivate new business in the region as well.

Donna Wyman, a local industry veteran for two decades, has come aboard as senior account executive. She has held various posts at agencies and nonprofit groups, including Leslie Advertising, Jackson-Dawson Marketing Communications and Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Stephanie Anne Holden joins as media buyer for the office. She has significant experience in the Southeast media scene, having worked at Vertis Communications and several radio stations.

“The fact that our excellent relationship with Charter has only grown stronger and more expansive was the important motivation behind opening a second office,” said Andy Davis, agency president.

“If it will be a full-service office and [Davis] feels being located there will make the agency more appealing to some prospects, great. If it is just a service office for an existing client, I’m not sure of the advantage from a new business perspective,” said Judy Neer, president of Boston communications consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston.

Davis, which employs about 50 staffers, has been one of New England’s more active smaller shops of late, consistently adding Charter assignments to its roster, which also includes Fidelity Bank, St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester State College, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and numerous automotive dealerships.

Expanding outside the region has produced mixed for native shops. Independent Via in Portland, Maine, has had success with offices in Boston and New York, and high-tech specialist PJA in Cambridge, Mass., has operated a growing outpost in San Francisco.

Among larger agencies, Havas-owned Arnold here closed its St. Louis facility last year, and Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos converted its San Francisco operation into a media-buying outpost.

Two notable Boston independents, MMB and Modernista!, opened in New York and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, last year, but it’s too soon to say if those forays will yield long-term results.