TN Not Done Shopping

True North Communications will continue to look at agencies to acquire, an executive said last week upon the holding company’s partnership with Don Coleman Advertising, one of the nation’s largest African American-targeted shops.
“Clearly, our intention is to make the appropriate investments as we go along,” said Valentine J. Zammit, chief executive officer of True North Diversified Cos. “We’ve already made investment in media and healthcare. We’re going to start looking at how we utilize the Web in terms of technology. We’re also going to look at public relations, promotions and on and on and on.”
TN has acquired a 49 percent interest in Don Coleman, Southfield, Mich. The addition of the agency to TN’s New America Strategies Group (NASG) increases that unit’s billings to $200 million, putting it among the largest multicultural agency networks in the nation, Zammit said.
Donald A. Coleman remains remain president and chief executive officer of his shop, and was appointed CEO of NASG and joins TN’s board of directors.
Coleman said he has been looking to partner with a holding company for five years, and was talking seriously to TN and others for the last 18 months. TN, with its “more entrepreneurial strategic thinking” was the best fit, he said. “They get it in terms of the business aspects of multicultural marketing.”
NASG includes agency Stedman Graham & Partners, New York, which also primarily targets African Americans. The two will function independently, allowing TN to go after competing clients, Zammit said.
Don Coleman’s clients include DaimlerChrysler, Kmart, General Mills, Domino’s Pizza, Miller Brewing Co. and Procter & Gamble.