SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Eric Mower + Associates, one of the largest U.S. independent marketing agencies, is combining with Middleton & Gendron, a public relations and brand communications agency in New York City.
This combination continues EMA’s growth as a national agency and extends the public affairs reach of its Albany office. EMA—which also has offices in Cincinnati, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., plus three other Upstate New York markets of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in addition to Albany—now serves clients from eight different cities.
M&G is a nationally recognized leader in public relations and marketing in the luxury hospitality, travel and lifestyle categories. In more recent years, the agency’s practice has expanded to include real estate, business to business, retail and fitness. The agency’s clients have included Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, The Savoy Group, Singapore Airlines, Rolex and FAO Schwarz. M&G’s Chairman Yvonne Middleton and President Mary Gendron, who founded the firm in 1978, will continue to lead the New York City office and join EMA as partners. M&G’s full professional staff will continue to lead client teams and be retained as part of M&G/EMA.
Together, EMA and M&G create a digitally-integrated independent marketing and public relations agency with more than 250 professionals and estimated 2014 capitalized billings approaching $250 million. M&G will continue operations as M&G/Eric Mower + Associates until the end of 2015 and then adopt the EMA name, as has happened in other combinations in other markets. The combination formally takes effect Nov. 1.
“By combining the two firms’ capabilities, there will be more resources for clients, greater opportunities for employees, and a wider range of services to attract new and larger regional and national clients. This move continues EMA’s history of planned growth through agency combinations,” said Eric Mower, chairman and CEO of EMA. “The addition of an office in the nation’s largest city, the world’s financial capital, and the global center of marketing communications and public relations continues EMA’s strategic expansion.”
“We are delighted to see our combination with Eric Mower + Associates come to fruition,” said Middleton, chairman of M&G. “Over the years, our clients have looked to us for a full range of marketing communications. With EMA, we will be better equipped than ever to meet all of their needs and to offer new services. We are also very pleased to provide exceptional growth opportunities for our staff. They have been vital to our success to date and deserve the new challenges and support that will come with joining EMA.”
Middleton began her career in broadcast and print journalism before discovering her entrepreneurial spirit and applying it to public relations in 1978. She launched the agency with her first client, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts which, over a 20-year relationship, would become the world’s preeminent hotel brand. Middleton has guided countless clients, from The Savoy Group, St. Lucia Tourist Board and Mohegan Sun to Rolex and FAO Schwarz through award-winning campaigns. She has also served the agency’s clients in times of crisis. Of note, she and her partner Mary were both appointed to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s Crisis Communications Committee for the City of New York on the heels of the 9/11 tragedy. Middleton’s contributions were recognized by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International with a Winthrop W. Grice Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Gendron came to New York in 1977 and spent four years in publishing. While editor of Hotel & Motel Management, she met Middleton and was lured into PR. Gendron has spearheaded a long succession of highly successful PR campaigns, among them the launch of Trump Hotel Collection, U.S. launch of Primavera Life and work with the Hotel Association of New York City. Deeply involved with the hospitality and spa industries, she was a founding board member of the International Spa Association and received the Mel Hosansky Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor presented by the International Association of Conference Centers. Her contributions were also recognized by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International with a Winthrop W. Grice Award for Lifetime Achievement.
“EMA is such a perfect fit for M&G, not only because of the wealth of new talent and resources it brings to M&G, but also because of its commitment to providing an excellent work environment. We are pleased to be combining with a company that consistently ranks among the finest places to work among U.S. agencies,” added Gendron.
At EMA, Mower serves as senior strategic and tactical counselor, and guides the agency’s overall policies, standards and practices. He was an early industry advocate for integrated marketing and early practitioner of utilizing advertising, sales promotion, and public relations in client programs and campaigns across a range of B2C and B2B categories.
Mower is active in industry affairs, and contributes to a number of professional, public and community service organizations. He served for more than 20 years on the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) board of directors; chairs the 4A’s Government Relations Committee; chairs the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) and is a board member of the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Mower is currently board member and vice chair of The Business Council of New York State; was an advisory council member for New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “New York Open for Business” marketing initiative; and was founding chair of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission. He is a life trustee for Syracuse University and serves on the Advisory Council of the University’s renowned S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Council of Better Business Bureaus (USA, Canada, Mexico).
The two parties were introduced by SGP Worldwide.