Canadian Agency Group Consolidates Interactive Shop

MDC, Canada’s largest marketing communications agency group, continued the trend begun by its U.S. and European counterparts by reigning one of its interactive shops in alongside more traditional agency operations.

As a result of the shift, Portland, Or.-based Nine Dots will become affiliated with marketing communications firm Colle+McVoy, which is majority owned by Maxxcom, an MDC subsidiary. Each new partner will resell the other’s services to clients through the arrangement, spokespeople said.

Furthermore, Nine Dots will open a Minneapolis office within Colle+McVoy, to serve a region where both firms have several clients. Current Colle advertising and marketing clients include 3M, Purina and Land O’Lakes, while Nine Dots handles work for General Motors and Northwest Airlines.

“We’ll be able to offer [existing] and prospective clients a more complete range of services,” said Nine Dots president and chief executive Andrew Shakman. “Colle+McVoy’s … expertise in integrated marketing and branding is a perfect fit with our ability to create and execute integrated online and direct programs.”

“Together Colle+McVoy and Nine Dots have the intellectual and technological resources in place to breathe interactive life into the best brand ideas,” he added.

The linking of 66-year-old Colle+McVoy with seven-year-old Nine Dots, formerly known as CyberSight, comes as other global agency groups are also experimenting with ways to address the slowdown in the interactive space.

Grey, for one, has pulled in several of its Web-focused shops alongside traditional agencies, while Omnicom has spun off most of its troubled interactive firms into a joint venture — and is giving signs that it’s preparing some form of consolidation among the group.

But MDC and Maxxcom position the effort differently, as a shift made out of opportunity to beef up its digital marketing capabilities.

“As a fully integrated marketing communications firm, Colle+McVoy is committed to providing a breadth of interactive opportunities to new and existing clients,” said Colle+McVoy president Phil Johnson. “But to build that level of interactive expertise from within would require a massive capital investment and too much time. The strength of the Maxxcom organization is that we can align with a sister company, which happens to be one of the top interactive agencies in the country.”

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