Westwayne Buys Breathe Interactive

NEW YORK — WestWayne in Atlanta has bought Breathe Interactive in an effort to bolster its inhouse direct- and interactive-marketing services. The independent agency finalized its purchase of the one-and-a-half-year-old, Atlanta-based interactive shop last week.

“This is about rounding out [WestWayne’s] integrated offerings. It will make it much more competitive in the marketplace,” said Heidi Klein, principal and co-founder of Breathe Interactive. “Right now, WestWayne is very active in new business. And accounts are looking for integrated agencies. We will help it be that integration engine.”

Breathe Interactive, which has estimated billings of $2-4 million from clients like Circuit City and Cysive, will operate as an autonomous unit within WestWayne; It will keep its own profit-and-loss margin, management team and brand identity.

Terms of the deal, which makes Breathe Interactive a wholly owned division of the agency, were not disclosed.

Breathe Interactive currently has six staffers, including four principals: Klein, managing partner, account management; Scott Hagedorn, managing partner, brand strategy; Erin Greenwald, managing partner, media; and Mickey Cohen, managing partner, creative and brand strategy. The acquisition reunites Hagedorn with West Wayne, where he led planning for six years before he left to join Mpower Communications in 1999.

“We’ve been working with them on programs with Publix and Celebrity Cruises,” said Jeff Johnson, WestWayne’s president and chief executive officer. “The four principals are aggressive and imaginative.”