Foote, Cone & Belding Acquires Hacker Group

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Advertising holding company True North Communications, Chicago, wasted little time in following through on an acquisition strategy announced recently as its agency Foote, Cone & Belding Direct Worldwide purchased direct marketing and creative agency the Hacker Group, Bellevue, WA, May 12 for an undisclosed amount.


During a discussion of quarterly results May 6, True North chairman/CEO David Bell said the company is focused on increasing revenue and operating margins and will fill in ``the business and geographic gaps through selective acquisitions.''


The Hacker Group, led by president Bob Hacker, will operate as a stand-alone subsidiary of FCB Direct, New York. Its 49-person staff works with over 100 clients in the financial services, travel, real estate and hi-tech sectors and specializes in customer acquisition and database management via direct mail. The Hacker Group had 1998 billings of $12.99 million.


"The industry as a whole is being energized by growth in the direct marketing arena. The Hacker Group, one of the West Coast‚s largest independent agencies specializing in direct mail, will provide better creative solutions for our clients,‚‚ said Brendan Ryan, chairman and CEO of FCB Worldwide in a prepared statement.
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