Source Marketing Makes Its Move

Source Marketing, best known for its promotions work, is broadening its scope with a national integrated assignment from Mattel’s Matchbox cars as well as assignments from Bristol-Myers Squibb and The Stanley Works.

The Westport, Conn., agency has also acquired The Marketing Department, a small competitor in nearby Greenwich, Conn.

Source, a 12-year-old agency with about 35 employees and billings in excess of $20 million, was hired by Matchbox following a review of undisclosed shops.

Source’s work for Matchbox includes promotional and positioning efforts under the “Matchbox to the rescue” banner crafted by lead agency FCB, Los Angeles, according to Vince Smart, director of marketing for Matchbox.

Ad spending with FCB was $7-8 million in both 1999 and 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

The first Source initiative for the client, which is scheduled to break in the third quarter, will include a multimedia campaign using Matchbox fire engines, police cars and other emergency vehicles to educate children about public safety.

Source is partnering with the National Safe Kids Campaign, a Washington, D.C., coalition of local police, fire and emergency response organizations throughout the country. Source’s contributions include educational pamphlets for distribution at local events and development of “National 911 Day,” which will take place on Sept. 11 to educate children about emergency procedures. A 2002 effort will tie in with Matchbox’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Source will provide promotions and retail marketing services to help Clairol, a unit of Bristol-Myers Squibb, extend its Herbal Essences line of hair care products and body washes. Work will include outdoor, movie theater and direct marketing efforts. Source has also picked up integrated marketing and merchandising chores for Stanley, a New Britain, Conn., tool manufacturer.

Source president Howard Steinberg believes his agency will be enhanced by the addition of The Marketing Department. Lisa Bruker, the agency’s principal owner, will take on a strategic leadership and account management role, similar to the one she played at TMD. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, brings TMD clients Kellogg, Lipton and Minute Maid to Source’s roster. Source is a unit of Toronto-based Maxxcom.