Empower S.F. Gets Ball Rolling

Cox Leads Media Agency’s Outpost to ThemeWare.com Win
CHICAGO–Empower MediaMarketing’s expansion to San Francisco has paid off to the tune of $20 million with a dot.com account win.
The agency, which also refers to itself as EM2, has been awarded media buying and planning for ThemeWare.com. Planning will be handled in San Francisco and buying will be done through Empower’s Cincinnati headquarters.
Judith Cox, managing director in San Francisco, single-handedly landed the first win for the office, said agency chairman Bill Price.
Cox, a former vp and media director at Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young in San Francisco, took the helm of the EM2 office in late 1999.
“She’s right at the heart of all the dot.com business out there,” Price said.
The flagship account for the San Francisco office “firmly places us within e-commerce,” Cox said.
ThemeWare, Newport Beach, Calif., offers Internet tutorial kits to businesses and consumers. A new business-to-business initiative, SbMART.com, is in the works, said company president Gary Matus.
“We were looking for a very professional, scientific approach to finding the best media placement,” he said. “[EM2] made a very good case for what they could do for us specifically. We decided to give them the opportunity to prove themselves.”
EM2 is ThemeWare’s first media agency. The company is in final negotiations with an undisclosed California agency to handle creative, Matus said.
Empower MediaMarketing, formed in 1985 as Media That Works, also has offices in San Diego, Chicago and Birmingham, Ala. The agency shuttered its Los Angeles office in January, consolidating those efforts in San Diego.
Empower has billings of more than $625 million. Its clients include Lexington, Ky.-based Long John Silver’s, which was purchased in September by A&W Restaurants, Detroit. EM2 will work with both chains to develop media plans to support co-branded A&W/Long John Silver’s restaurants. Empower’s Cincinnati office was awarded media buying and planning for A&W Restaurants. K