Wunderman New York Buys Shaw Marketing Group

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Direct marketing agency Wunderman's New York office has bought Shaw Marketing Group, a four-year-old relationship marketing shop with clients like liquor giant Diageo and the New York Philharmonic.

The deal comes a couple of months after Wunderman acquired Seattle interactive agency Zaaz. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"It brings us category knowledge in the spirits and beverage business and it deepens our knowledge of the customer in that particular category," said Steve Zammarchi, president of Wunderman New York.

The acquired agency will be called Shaw Wunderman. All employees -- about 20 -- keep their jobs and work out of their midtown New York office until the lease expires.

Richard Shaw, founder and president of Shaw Marketing, becomes CEO of Shaw Wunderman.

"They offer me a tremendous amount of resources, particularly in the digital and data mining areas, which is a great addition to a core group that I have offering creative, strategy and account management," Mr. Shaw said about Wunderman.

Mr. Shaw's agency works on Diageo brands like Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Guinness and Baileys. The portfolio also includes clients in the consumer packaged goods category.

Wunderman had answered an RFP put out in the first quarter.

"I was looking for deeper resources that I wasn't able to offer clients on my own," Mr. Shaw said. "Speaking to Wunderman, I think we were really a good match. We both believe strongly in consumer-centric marketing."

The next step is customer acquisition.

"We're going to be reaching out for new clients starting out in a month after we've fully integrated our systems with Wunderman New York," Mr. Shaw said.

Wunderman is part of British agency conglomerate WPP Group PLC's Young & Rubicam Brands, New York. Clients include Microsoft, Pfizer, Hewlett-Packard and Citibank.

The agency's KnowledgeBase Marketing unit in March 2005 bought Fortelligent and the shop itself struck a strategic partnership with Kansas City, MO, interactive agency VML a year before that.

Wunderman is still in the mood for more acquisitions, Mr. Zammarchi said.

"We're always open to anyone that can enhance our offering in terms of customer knowledge or specialized credentials," he said.

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