SicolaMartin Agrees to Y&R Advertising’s Offer Texas Tech Specialists Will Become a Subsidiary of WPP Agency

Fast-growing tech agency SicolaMartin last week agreed to be purchased by WPP Group’s Y&R Advertising.

SicolaMartin in Austin, Texas, will retain its name and act as a wholly owned subsidiary of Y&R Advertising. Founded by president and chief executive officer Tom Sicola and senior vice president and executive creative director Steve Martin, the 15-year-old agency’s 2000 billings rose 75 percent to $113 million.

SicolaMartin caught the eye of several potential suitors last year following its win of Novell’s $40 million global account. The business is handled in partnership with DDB Dallas. The contract with Y&R allows SicolaMartin to continue working with DDB on that account.

Other SicolaMartin clients in-clude Compaq, Citrix Systems, Daz-el, StorageTek and Vignette Corp.

Said Sicola: “Y&R got very aggressive in terms of wanting us to be part of their network. They’ve got tech customers too, but they saw we could add value to their customers and they could add value to ours.”

Y&R’s other high-tech agencies include Y&R Advertising in San Francisco and London-based Banner Corp. SicolaMartin had previously worked with a Banner client seeking a U.S. presence.

“Their emphasis on marketing services for high tech b-to-b brands really set them ahead of the field,” said Howard Breen, director of North American acquisitions and integration for Y&R Advertising. “Adding SicolaMartin to the fold helped us round out our resources.”

Terms were not disclosed.

More than 30 percent ofSicolaMartin’s revenue derives from marketing services, as opposed to advertising.

“It’s the caliber of marketing services that people would go out and hire [consultancy} McKinsey [& Company] for, combined with the ability to turn it over into creative and communication,” said Sicola.