T&O Set Up for Dot.Com Windfall

Shop Inks a Deal With Venture Capital Firm
LOS ANGELES–Townsend & O’Leary Advertising and venture capital firm ColumbusNewport have formed a partnership that could add up to $35 million to the shop’s capitalized billings in the coming year.
Since it was struck in the summer, the deal has already translated into $5 million in additional billings from dot.com referrals, said T&O president Steve O’Leary.
Exact terms of the deal, under which T&O will provide ColumbusNewport, Newport Beach, Calif., with advertising, interactive and public relations services, were not disclosed. A key component, though, calls for ColumbusNewport to refer as many as 25 dot.com startups to T&O in the coming fiscal year, O’Leary said.
T&O, Irvine, Calif., won the business through a referral. “One of the principals of ColumbusNewport is a former president of Western Financial Bank, which we currently handle,” O’Leary explained.
T&O has already begun work for two of the referrals. The agency previously landed a handful of dot.coms on its own, including Irvine, Calif., startups Attilaweb.com and Eliberation.com.
One advantage of having ColumbusNewport refer potential clients is they are already prequalified, O’Leary said. “This partnership provides a safety net for us,” he said. K