On the Rise: RDW Adds Service Pro

New Business Wins Place Shop Among Region’s Largest Indies
BOSTON–RDW Group has added a trio of clients and named Victoria Birk vice president of account service.
The wins–Women & Infants Hospital, VIS Corp. and the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles’ auto emissions program–help push the Providence, R.I.-based shop near the $75 million billings mark for 1999, said senior vice president Josh Fenton.
It appears that either RDW, which has enjoyed two-year growth of 75 percent, or Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn., will by year’s end emerge as the second largest independent traditional agency in New England, behind Holland Mark Edmund Ingalls in Boston.
Recent success has RDW in an acquisition mode. The agency has bought smaller shops in the past and, in order to maintain momentum, is considering a buy in the Boston marketplace, perhaps within the next year, said president Michael Doyle. Selling RDW is not part of the plan, he added.
The three client additions, worth nearly $4 million in combined billings, are important because they span the medical, technology and government markets, allowing RDW to diversify its areas of expertise and providing new creative opportunities, agency executives said.
Birk has spent the past year with Pagano Schenck & Kay, Boston, as account director. Her duties at Pagano, which last month was purchased by New York-based EPB Communications, have been assumed by other staffers, said PSK president Beau Fraser. Prior to Pagano, Birk worked at defunct Leonard/Monahan in Providence for six years.
Birk lives in the Providence area and joined RDW mainly to be closer to home and because “they’re a hot agency right now,” she said.
Among Birk’s clients at RDW will be Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, an account she ran during her tenure at Leonard/Monahan. The hospital’s ad business was with LBC Design in Providence, a Leonard/Monahan spinoff. Public relations had been handled by RDW, and the hospital moved its ad business without a formal review.
VIS, Waltham, Mass., which previously had no agency of record, hired RDW for marketing duties after a review of undisclosed shops.
Both Women & Infants and VIS will bill in the low seven figures, according to Fenton.
The other new assignment, worth $3.3 million over three years, involves creating a campaign to educate Rhode Island residents about tougher automobile emissions standards set to be introduced in January. RDW is working as a subcontractor to Keating Technologies in Tuscon, Ariz.