Holland Mark Adds Design Capability

BOSTON Holland Mark, in a move recalling its 1990s heyday as a key player on New England’s agency scene, has acquired 12-person design shop TPG Creative, which will be renamed Holland Mark Studios.

“We believe that brand identity and design are integral parts of the mix and that Boston has a dearth of design firms that can cost-effectively deliver smart work. TPG Creative has been doing just that for 12 years,” said Chris Colbert, Holland Mark’s CEO.

From TPG’s point of view, linking with the ad agency gives it access to a broader client base and the ability to offer more services, said shop president Rob Waldeck.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Both firms are located in Boston.

The shops share clients such as Fidelity Investments and Pearson Education. Zipcar and the American Cancer Society are also Holland Mark accounts.

Colbert relaunched the agency in May. He had been managing partner at Pile and Co., the consulting company here, and in the 1990s helped build the original Holland Mark into one of the region’s largest independents before it closed its doors in late 2001.

The union comes during a dry few years locally in terms of agency mergers. As the industry has contracted and become increasingly specialized, few have been willing to risk joining together to expand. Such moves were common in the go-go dot-com era. Case in point: Holland Mark’s 1999 acquisition of Ingalls formed a regional powerhouse, but the debt the shop incurred in the purchase was a factor that led to its demise.