OGBE, Tracey/Edwards Unite

Granite State’s Largest Agency Adds a Dozen Employees in Deal
BOSTON–The trend toward consolidation among regional shops reached New Hampshire last week, as OGBE Communications and Tracey/Edwards agreed to merge.
The resulting entity will be christened O’Neil Griffin Tracey Edwards & Bodi and will have 45 employees, about a dozen coming from Tracey/Edwards. It will service some 50 clients on an agency of record, project or consulting basis. Overall billings will be more than $30 million.
The deal will be completed in March, with the new privately held entity located at OGBE’s offices at 1000 Elm St. in Manchester, N.H.
The union was described by executives at both shops as a pooling of talent and resources in which no money changes hands. All five agency heads–Gary O’Neil, Patrick Griffin and Mark Bodi from OGBE and Kevin Tracey and Haden Edwards–will be equal partners.
O’Neil, who founded OGBE in 1974, will serve as chief executive. Griffin and Bodi will continue to oversee political and financial accounts. Tracey will guide new business efforts. The creative department will be managed by Edwards, Josh Weinstein and OGBE’s Elaine Krause. Patrick McGee will oversee public relations. Specific titles have not been finalized.
“This is an easy deal,” Griffin said, a union of longtime acquaintances and friendly competitors now poised to compete for larger accounts than they could have chased separately.
The deal gives OGBE–already the Granite State’s largest shop looking to staff up in several departments–a dozen new employees “with a proven track record . . . of having done well together as a group,” Griffin said. No employees will lose their jobs because of the union and there are no client conflicts, he added.
OGBE’s accounts include the New Hampshire Sweepstakes Commission, New England Electric System, Healthsource and Castle Springs. The agency also handles political ads for regional and national candidates and operates an office in Washington, D.C.
Formed in 1991, Tracey/Edwards’ clients include Spectron EyeWorld, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, Seabrook Greyhound Park and Rockingham Park. The shop has a service office in Boston.