MARC Indianapolis Aims To Broaden Its Scope

The new president of MARC USA/Indianapolis hopes to expand the shop’s boundaries as the agency—the last in the Pittsburgh-based network to drop its original name—looks to introduce itself to the national market.

Executive creative director Bryan Hadlock was promoted to president last week. The shop also dropped the name CVR/MARC in an effort to unify the agency brand and give the office a more national image.

“The goal is to expand [the agency’s] geographic reach” for new business, said Tony Bucci, MARC USA chairman and chief executive officer. “CVR didn’t mean much outside Indianapolis.”

The agency bought Caldwell VanRiper in June 1999 during an acquisition spree that also landed the network offices in Chicago, Dallas and Miami, as well as one in New York that closed last May. MARC also has an outpost in Orlando, Fla. It claims billings of more than $500 million and 400 employees.

Most of the acquired shops were quick to shed their original monikers. Bucci said CVR’s history in the marketplace—it has been around in one form or another since 1910—led him to move more slowly in stamping the office with the MARC brand.

“[The new name] does two things,” Bucci said. “For CVR, it clearly states that they are part of MARC USA. For the organization, it reinforces that we’re going out to the market as one brand.”

“We are now going from the ‘build it’ stage to the ‘be it’ stage,” Hadlock said, adding that the shop is ready to become more of a national player.

Since MARC already has an office in Chicago, Bucci said the Indianapolis office will target clients in markets such as Nashville, Tenn.; Louisville, Ky.; St. Louis; and Kansas City, Mo., as well as Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Hadlock, 41, reports to Bucci. He replaces Paula MacVittie, 52, who will continue to serve as the agency’s CEO and shift to a consultancy role on May 1. “She wanted to take a year off and do other things with her life,” Hadlock said.

Creative director Duane Rader was promoted to ecd, reporting to Hadlock.

Hadlock arrived at what was then CVR in 1990 as senior art director. Prior to that, he worked for six months at Wyse Advertising in Indianapolis as a senior art director before that office closed. He also spent four years as an art director in the marketing department at GTE, now Verizon Communications.

Hadlock said he has no immediate plans to make staffing changes. MARC in Indianapolis, which claims $38 million in billings and has 50 employees, works with local clients including the Indiana Pacers, Centennial Wireless and Dairy Queen.

Hadlock said his creative background is bolstered by his managerial experience, which will enable him to lead the Indianapolis shop. He describes his management style as “hands-on.”

“In the last seven years, I have been involved in policy decisions, new-business pitches and strategic planning,” he said. “I understand all the phases of the agency business.”

Bucci said there were no messages about the agency’s direction in appointing a creative to the president’s job. “It was more a function of his ability and tenure with clients and with the agency,” he said.