Margeotes Buys Chinnici Direct

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Canadian marketing agency Maxxcom Inc. continues to ramp up its U.S. presence with the announcement that its Margeotes Fertitta + Partners arm has bought an unspecified majority interest in Chinnici Direct.

The acquisition will require Margeotes' Margeotes Fertitta + Pavlika direct marketing division to change its name to Pavlika Chinnici Direct. The acquisition of Chinnici Direct, New York, a full-service direct marketing agency, is typical of Maxxcom's practice of collecting entrepreneurial agencies.

"We were really asked to compete in larger ballparks," said Michael Chinnici, CEO and chief operating officer of Pavlika Chinnici Direct. "We fell short when it came to deeper resources, so it became obvious that we had to partner with someone."

Chinnici said he chose Maxxcom, Toronto, over larger, established shops because of the conglomerate's philosophy of giving its agencies a relatively free hand. Chinnici is Maxxcom's third agency buy in two months, following purchases of Mackenzie Marketing and TargetCom.

Pavlika Chinnici Direct will boast $60 million in billings and will offer services such as acquisition and loyalty programs, relationship and transactional marketing, direct response television, direct response media planning and buying, research and analysis, creative and strategic development and production management.

The division will focus on retailing, hotel and travel, nonprofits, financial services, packaged goods, industrial resources and telecommunications.

Charter clients include Net2Phone/Y2P, Sotheby's, YouthStream, NFL Sunday Ticket, SunCom, Consumer Reports, Cyberpix, Chase Manhattan Bank and Choicelinx.

Chinnici Direct recorded billings of $40 million last year.

Margeotes Fertitta + Partners, New York, billed $360 million last year on work for clients such as Godiva Chocolatier Inc., McGraw-Hill, National Football League, Putnam Investments, United Distillers and Vintners, Winstar Communications, and Benkiser Consumer Products, among others.

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