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AGENCY.COM and Interactive Solutions Will Merge

AGENCY.COM in New York and Interactive Solutions in Boston said they have agreed to combine the two companies to form a new interactive firm.

The new company will be headquartered in New York and retain the AGENCY.COM name. Omnicom Group Inc. will have a 40% ownership interest in the combined company. Financial details were not disclosed.

The new AGENCY.COM will have projected 1998 revenue from interactive services of some $60 million and 375 employees with offices in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, and London, the company said.

No layoffs are anticipated as a result of the merger; and, in fact, the merged company will actively seek additional staff, officials said.

Chris Butler, president and CEO of Interactive Solutions, will become chairman and Chan Suh, chairman and CEO of AGENCY.COM, will become CEO of the new entity. Interactive Solutions' Boston office will become AGENCY.COM: Boston. Thor Johnson, currently Interactive Solutions Chief Operating Officer, will become president of that office.

Kyle Shannon will be chief creative officer and Ken Trush will be chief financial officer of the merged company. All other executives of both AGENCY.COM and Interactive Solutions will retain their current roles and titles.

Suh said, "When Chris Butler and I began talking we saw immediate synergies and realized that a merger would bring unique benefits to our respective clients. The combination of AGENCY.COM's creative strength and its ability to manage significant worldwide interactive relationships together with Interactive Solutions' expertise in developing business strategies for sophisticated interactive business, brand orientation and enterprise-scale integration skills will benefit all of our clients."

The new AGENCY.COM will have as clients ACE, American Express, Boots the Chemist, BMG Interactive, British Airways, BT, General Motors, Glaxo Wellcome, GTE, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi America, Lucent Technologies, Malden Mills, MetLife, Nationwide Insurance, Nickelodeon, PBHG Funds Inc., Putnam Investments, Prudential, Reuters, Showtime Networks, The Economist Group, Uncle Ben's, Unilever and Xerox.