I-Buy for WestWayne

WestWayne has ac-quired breatheinteractive.

The independent ad agency finalized its purchase of the Atlanta interactive marketing firm last week. Breathe-interactive moves into quarters one flight above WestWayne’s Atlanta location today.

The i-shop will partner with WestWayne on all direct and interactive marketing initiatives while maintaining its own client base. Terms of the deal, which make breatheinteractive a wholly owned division of the agency, were not disclosed.

According to breatheinteractive account manager Heidi Klein, the i-shop posted billings of $2 million in 2001. Clients include Circuit City, HomeBanc and Cysive software.

The interactive shop has worked with WestWayne before. In addition, Breatheinteractive managing partner and founder Scott Hagedorn was vice president of brand planning at WestWayne in Tampa, Fla., and Atlanta. He left the agency in 1999 to join Mpower Communications.

“We’ve been working with them on programs with Publix and Celebrity Cruises,” said Jeff Johnson, WestWayne’s president and chief executive officer. “The four principals are aggressive and imaginative.”

Those principals are Hagedorn, Klein, Mickey Cohen and Erin Greenwald. Klein said WestWayne’s interactive staff, about 10 employees, will merge with the i-shop’s personnel.

Although interactive specialists have fared poorly in recent years, what the firms bring to the table—customer relationship program and database management skills—gives ad agencies a leg up in reviews, according to Johnson.

Breatheinteractive began operations in January 2001.