Hallmark/Tassone Consolidates

Florida Success Leads Shop to D.C. Market
CHICAGO–Capping a series of acquisitions, Pittsburgh agency Hallmark/Tassone has rebranded five Florida shops under its name and set its sights on duplicating the strategy in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore market.
Hallmark/Tassone last week announced it is acquiring Altman Meder Lawrence Hill, a 17-year-old Tampa, Fla., shop, and will join it with two other Tampa agencies it has purchased in the past 18 months: Winner Koenig/Hallmark and Pearson Thomas/Hallmark. The three are now being combined as a single Hallmark/Tassone office.
At the same time, two previously acquired Orlando, Fla., agencies–Frailey & Wilson/Hallmark and Richard Sibley Advertising–are also being joined under the Hallmark/Tassone brand.
With 49 employees in Florida and 70 in Pittsburgh, the agency now bills $83 million across all three offices. Approximately $53 million in billings comes from the Pittsburgh headquarters, which earlier this year absorbed the Dudreck DePaul Ficco & Morgan agency there.
“It makes sense to bring the Florida operations under a single name now,” said Bill Binstock, Hallmark/Tassone’s Pittsburgh-based chairman. “Together, we have the mass there to be a very serious contender for regional business. And we think we have developed a prototype for how to build the agency [through acquisitions] and make it work.”
That prototype for growth will be tested next in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore market, where possible acquisitions are being studied, Binstock said.