Merkley Newman Harty Partners with Eisnor Interactive

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Omnicom Group Inc.'s Merkley Newman Harty subsidiary, New York, has signed a partnership agreement with Eisnor Interactive Inc., an offline marketing agency for online brands.


Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, the news this week followed an announcement that Omnicom Group was acquiring a minority stake in Eisnor Interactive, which said it will use the cash infusion to support new growth, establish strategic relationships and attract new clients.


The investment agreement will give both agencies access to each other's core competencies, while providing Internet advertising and direct marketing advantages to Merkley Newman, a $300 million consumer advertising and marketing agency.


In addition, Eisnor Interactive, New York, will be able to draw on new strengths, including Merkley Newman's consumer marketing background and experience in servicing heavyweight brands like Mercedes-Benz USA and BellSouth.


Stephen Harty, managing director at Merkley Newman, said the agency's staff is now "absolutely on fire. We're lucky to be able to partner with [Eisnor Interactive] and looking forward to what happens when they unleash their magic with some of our technology and communications clients."


Scott Lahde, communications director at Merkley Newman, also pointed out that the shop is doing more direct business-to-business work in addition to its consumer marketing and campaign management activities for companies like Citigroup's Travelers. He said the agency was growing quickly and noted it had also acquired Team South in Atlanta just last month.


Eisnor Interactive CEO Di-Ann Eisnor said the relationship provided a key advantage for her agency -- one that would benefit from Omnicom's support while allowing the shop to be less tied to designing marketing and media strategies based on budgets.


"We plan them based on what is strategically in line with our client's marketing goals, whether that's TV, billboards, print ads, guerrilla marketing or new media opportunities," she said.


Founded in 1997 by Di-Ann Eisnor, Eisnor Interactive stakes its claim as the first agency to specialize in branding online companies in the offline world. The company has 45 employees and projected billings for 2000 of $36 million. Clients include TheStreet.com, Staples.com, MessageMedia, About.com, CNET, Nickelodeon, MapQuest.com, Homeportfolio.com, Homeruns.com and Pseudo Programs Inc.


Merkley Newman clients include the American Museum of Natural History, BellSouth, BMW Motorcycles, CareerMosaic.com, Citigroup, computer.com, Fila, Forbes, Forbes.com and Mercedes-Benz USA.


Omnicom Group, New York, a marketing communications conglomerate, also owns advertising networks BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide.
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