Grey Healthcare Bags Catalyst Search Agency

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WPP Group PLC's Grey Healthcare Group bought Catalyst on-line Inc., a Boston agency specializing in search engine marketing.

In business for eight years, Catalyst offers search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising. It also provides clients with Web site design, development and consulting.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WPP, London, owns agency brands like Grey Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, JWT, Wunderman and Young & Rubicam. Based in New York, Grey Healthcare's marketing helps bring offline medical programs online. The agency also handles direct-to-consumer and direct-to-patient efforts for pharmaceutical clients.

The Grey Healthcare acquisition comes days after Omnicom Group Inc., New York, said it bought Rodgers/Townsend, a much-awarded agency with clients like at&t, Monsanto, Energizer, The Hartford and the St. Louis Rams.

Terms of that deal were not disclosed. It comes a month after Omnicom acquired a majority interest in EVB, a San Francisco interactive agency.

The need for resources to grow was a major consideration for Rodgers/Townsend's sale to a marketing services conglomerate like Omnicom. A 100-person shop, Rodgers/Townsend last year reportedly posted revenue of $13 million. CEO Tim Rodgers and chief creative officer Tom Townsend will keep their jobs at the agency.

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