RuffCoffin, Breedlove+Partners Merge Operations

RuffCoffin and Breed-love+Partners have merged agency operations.

The two Austin, Texas, shops, now operating under the banner RuffCoffinBreedlove, joined forces to offer clients “more depth, experiences and resources to improve our capabilities,” said managing director Tom Breedlove.

Breedlove leads the shop with account services director Todd Ruff and creative director Mike Coffin, who formed RuffCoffin in June 2001.

Breedlove+Partners opened its doors a few months later, in October 2001. Its namesake founder came directly from Austin agency T3 (The Think Tank), where he spent five years heading strategic planning, media and research.

Breedlove+Partners relied heavily on freelancers, following a “virtual” agency model of working with a small network of art directors, copywriters and talent in other specialties. Its client roster consisted mostly of regional accounts: Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurants, Blaine Pharmaceuticals, Boulder Creek Pools & Spas, Golfsmith, Igloo Restaurant Group and iLink Technologies.

For a while, Breed-love said, being a virtual shop was the most efficient way to operate. “In the beginning I was doing a lot of very one-off projects and it was difficult having full-time people doing that kind of work,” he said. “As [the work] became more steady, it became more efficient to have full-time people over freelancers.”

The new entity will utilize RuffCoffin’s full-service agency model. There are a total of 13 full-time employees at the Austin shop. Combined billings are nearly $4 million.

In addition to Breedlove’s cli-ents, the shop also handles the ad accounts of Ballet Austin and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Capital Area.

With Breedlove leading new-business initiatives, the agency plans to pursue regional and national clients, targets both shops had separately sought before the merger, Breedlove said.

Individually, the leadership trio has spent a number of years at other regional agencies. Both Breedlove and Coffin are veterans of GSD&M in Austin and The Richards Group in Dallas. Ruff spent two years at an Austin satellite agency of Leo Burnett. Before that, he worked at Euro RSCG DSW Partners in Salt Lake City for 10 years.