Frankel Aims East

Economic boom and bust have slowed Frankel’s acquisition efforts in the almost two years since it was sold to the Publicis Groupe. But the agency has finally secured a deal to establish an East Coast presence and boost its capabilities for event marketing.

The Chicago-based promotions shop has reached an agreement to buy Creative Alliance Marketing & Communications in Southport, Conn., which will now be known as Creative Aim.

“To do an acquisition now is easier than it was a year ago,” said Jim Mack, Frankel’s CEO. “There are a lot of companies looking to be acquired.”

Unfortunately, not as many of the targets are as fiscally sound and attractive as they may have been when the economy was stronger. In Creative Alliance, Frankel found a partner that had the “track record and people” to make for a good buy, Mack said.

He said he found Creative through a consultant after screening about 30 potential targets.

Creative Aim claims 2000 revenue of about $10 million. Among its better known promotions was Guinness’ poetry contest to win an Irish pub. The company will keep its management team intact.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Although the deal was just in the formative stages at the time, the Connecticut shop was involved in Frankel’s winning pitch for the $125 million Centers for Disease Control account to urge children to get into good shape [Adweek, Oct. 1].

Creative Aim specializes in “grassroots event marketing,” a key component of the upcoming CDC campaign.