Eric Mower and Associates (EMA) and Mark Russell and Associates (MRA) are combining their operations, creating a $220 million marketing communications agency with more than 260 employees in seven offices in the Eastern U.S. EMA and MRA will be among the top 20 independent marketing communications agencies in the country.
MRA is a full-service marketing communications agency with a 20-plus-year reputation for creative excellence, client service and strong entrepreneurial spirit. Founded in 1987, the firm has grown to a $50 million agency with offices in Syracuse and Atlanta.
In addition to break through-the-clutter, edgy creative work in all forms of media, MRA has specialized expertise in the growing areas of online relationship management and cause related marketing. Clients include ADT Security, Caesars Pocono Resorts, FedEx Kinko’s, Kaboom Infinite Energy Drink, Motorola, and Verizon Wireless.
“EMA and MRA are much stronger together than they are apart,” said Eric Mower, chairman and chief executive officer, EMA, a company he has been building for 40 years. “With the MRA team, EMA gains both extraordinary talent and near-boundless energy that will fuel our momentum. The combined organization will be a much more commanding presence in the highly competitive business of advertising and public relations. And we will be better able to meet the needs of our clients in a world where technology causes constant change in the methodologies of communications.”
“This is good news for MRA’s clients and for our people. Organizational size and professional resources matter today in the agency business,” said Mark Russell, president and chief executive officer, MRA, who joins EMA as a senior partner. “Combining the strengths of MRA and EMA will provide more resources to our clients, and greater opportunities for our employees, and will allow us to bring our breadth of services to a wider market.”
One of MRA’s key assets to join with EMA is its online marketing subsidiary, Pump Relationship Technologies, which was created to help clients benefit from the convergence of online “digital” marketing and traditional direct marketing. Through a unique behavioral marketing framework, Pump develops and executes a wide array of communications solutions that includes online and offline one-to-one marketing programs, targeted websites and e-commerce tools, sales support and CRM systems, online advertising and marketing programs, and behavioral research and analytics.
“We’re excited at the opportunity to introduce Pump’s unique online relationship management expertise to a broader array of clients,” commented Russell.
“The combination of broad scale advertising, public relations and sales promotion integrated with sophisticated digital marketing capabilities will make EMA a destination agency, and will fuel greater growth than either company could have achieved on its own,” Mower said.
Forty-eight MRA employees will join EMA, moving in to EMA’s offices in Syracuse and Atlanta early this summer. MRAs’ people will continue to work together to serve their clients, accessing EMA’s capabilities to enhance and improve service.
With more than 200 people EMA has specialized expertise in crisis-management and issues-related public relations and public affairs, consumer advertising, brand promotion and business-to-business marketing. With offices in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, N.Y., as well as Charlotte, N.C., Atlanta, and Sarasota, Fla., EMA serves clients throughout the United States and outside the U.S., as well.
EMA clients include Bojangles’ Restaurant Group, Closet Maid, FedEx, Fisher-Price, Inc., Ford Dealers, George Little Management, Georgia-Pacific, Kodak, Motorola, Pass & Seymour Legrand, Nucor Steel and Shurtape Technologies.
The combination with MRA is EMA’s second consolidation in 2008. In January, EMA acquired Clarke Advertising and Public Relations in Sarasota, Fla., one of the top marketing communications agencies in Florida. EMA has a track record for successfully consolidating with agencies along the East Coast during the past 19 years. In addition to Clarke, EMA combined with Price McNabb in Charlotte, N.C., in 2004; Sage Marketing Communications in Syracuse in 2001; Smith Advertising Group in Syracuse in 2000; Mitchell Detine & Neiler in Buffalo in 1999; Blair BBDO in Rochester in 1991, and Levy King & White in Buffalo in 1990.
Mark Russell founded MRA in 1987 and served as its president and chief executive officer for 20 years. Under Russell’s leadership, MRA grew from a small, local advertising firm into a dynamic, award-winning, nationally recognized integrated marketing agency with over $50 million in capitalized billings.
With more than 25 years of experience in advertising and marketing, Russell has successfully spearheaded communications efforts for such well-regarded clients as Sallie Mae, ADT Security Services, FedEx Kinko’s, Welch Allyn, Inc., Schering-Plough Animal Health, Starwood Resorts, Carrier Corporation, Motorola, Deloitte, Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon Wireless.
Russell, a graduate of Colgate University, is active in a variety of community and professional organizations. He currently serves on the board of advisors for CXtec and on the board of the Syracuse Downtown Committee. Past board positions include president of the International Center, chairman of the Syracuse Stage, vice president of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce and vice president of Syracuse Tomorrow. Russell was honored as one of the finalists in New York State as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2000
Eric Mower is active in advertising industry affairs and contributes to a number of professional, public and community service organizations. For the last six years he has served as president of the 90-nation International Network of Independent Advertising Agencies (IN). He also serves as director of the Government Relations Committee for the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) and is a member of its national board of directors. Mower is a trustee emeritus for Syracuse University and serves on the Advisory Council of the University’s renowned Newhouse School of Public Communications. He also serves as chair of the National Advertising Review Council (NARC), the widely acclaimed advertising industry self-regulatory organization.
Mower is a vice-chair of the board of directors of the Business Council of New York State. He currently serves as chairman of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, appointed to that post in 2002 by U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton.
EMA is a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA); IN and IPREX, a worldwide partnership of independent public relations firms.
For more information, please visit www.mower.com.