Denver’s Morey Mahoney Spins Off Tech Company

LOS ANGELES-At a time when many technology companies seem to be spinning their wheels, Morey Mahoney Advertising in Denver is launching a new company, Traction Marketing, aimed at luring tech clients.

The spinoff will be led by managing partner John Richardson, previously e-commerce director at Morey Mahoney. The management team also includes marketing services director Krista Nicholson and creative services director Anne Alden, who both held similar positions at the Denver office of iXL.

Morey Mahoney chose to launch a separate company to service tech clients in the hopes that it will “attract better technologists who might not work with a traditional advertising firm and show commitment to the space,” said Richardson.

Traction, which will be housed in Morey Mahoney’s offices, is angling for startup and emerging technology companies, established tech firms and traditional businesses expanding into e-commerce. The agency will offer strategy, creative and traditional media, and work with partners to provide services such as public relations and Web site and e-commerce development.

In addition to its three principals, Traction will use creative and media professionals from Morey Mahoney’s 30-person staff, Richardson said.

While it might not seem the best time to launch a tech-focused company, Richardson offers a different perspective. “The demand for good technology marketing is greater than ever because the stakes are so much higher,” he said.

Traction is aiming for gross billings comparable to those of Morey Mahoney—currently $30 million—by the end of 2002, he said.

Already on board at Traction are five clients that have shifted from Morey Mahoney’s roster. They are: netLibrary, a Web-based provider and distributor of electronic books to libraries; e-content tool provider Requisite Technology; OneMedia Place, a global business-to-business online marketplace for media; bottled water company Deep Rock Water; and inSpecdata, which offers a database of home-building statistics.

Traction recently launched a campaign for netLibrary meant to overcome confusion in the marketplace and gain the allegiance of libraries and publishers. Work consisted of e-mail, print, trade show, collateral and Web site efforts.