Greenhouse to Buy CM’s Chicago Office

CHICAGO Independent agency Greenhouse Communications is acquiring the Chicago operations of Interpublic Group’s Campbell Mithun, according to executives with the shop. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition will effectively double the size of the independent Chicago agency to about $50 million in billings and 50 employees, said Sandy House, CEO and co-founder of Greenhouse Communications. Among the clients being transferred in the deal are Mutual of Omaha insurance, trade and retail communications for the National Pork Board and media duties on the Weber-Stevens grill account, she said.

The move reunites staff of CM’s Chicago office with Tom Hayden, who joined Greenhouse as president in early 2004. Hayden had been general manager of CM in Chicago, and led the office during its previous run as Bozell Chicago.

Campbell Mithun, based in Minneapolis, assumed the Chicago office when parent company IPG opted to shut down the Bozell network in 2000. The Greenhouse deal was in part spurred by CM president Jack Rooney’s desire to return to a more simplified structure, according to an agency representative.

“Given the structural makeup of IPG, we felt we would represent a better partner for [CM Chicago’s] businesses,” Hayden said.

House and Dan Greenberger co-founded Greenhouse in 1990 to focus primarily on clients in service sectors such as healthcare and banking. In 2000, the shop added Kimberly Crisanti from Chicago Creative Partnership and has been working to broaden its strategic offerings.

In addition to the clients coming in as part of the Campbell Mithun acquisition, Greemhouse’s roster includes the American Dental Association, Marquette Bank and some promotional work for Polaroid.