Midwest Digital Agency Resource to Buy Ammirati in Agency Revamp

Ammirati Touts About 70 Employees and $10-$15 Million in Revenue

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Kelly Mooney
Kelly Mooney
Matthew Ammirati
Matthew Ammirati

Midwest digital agency Resource has acquired New York-based creative shop Ammirati as part of a broader plan to revamp the agency's brand and services, potentially going so far as getting rid of the Resource name, said CEO Kelly Mooney. A new name for the combined company will be introduced in the coming months, the shop said in a statement.

It's the first acquisition in the Columbus, Ohio-based shop's 33-year history.

"Everyone is talking about how it's not just about digital marketing anymore, which is what our business is based on, and about marketing in a digital world," she said. "We're bringing in more advertising, shopper marketing and package design [capabilities] that allow us to be agnostic about what the [client] problem is and how we approach it."

Ammirati is helmed by Matthew Ammirati, 38, the great nephew of the 'Ammirati' in Ammirati Puris Lintas, the creative shop that Lowe bought in 1999. Ammirati touts about 70 employees and $10 million to $15 million in revenue.

Ms. Mooney will serve as CEO of the combined company, and Resource Founder Nancy Kramer will serve as chairman. Mr. Ammirati will assume the role of creative chairman, reporting to Ms. Mooney.

Over the past couple of years the shop has focused on growth by building versus buying, adding more creative agency talent and lead-agency assignments for clients like Shaw Flooring and United Dairy Farmers. But the acquisition gives Resource, a digital agency with over 300 staffers across San Francisco, Chicago, Columbus and Cincinnati, more creative clout and a New York presence.

"We could build it but thought it would take longer," she said. "The rapid pace of change in our industry didn't really afford us the time to do it well. We also wanted to be in New York. There's such a creative heartbeat here."

The shop spent the year meeting agencies in New York. Ammirati came onto the scene late in the game -- almost too late, as Resource was already in serious talks with another firm.

"It was a fit for us culturally and strategically," said Ms. Mooney, adding that they had zero client conflicts. "We had the same ambitions and talked for hours in the initial meeting. It literally changed our course and plan of action."

Ammirati was also having conversations with another suitor, she said.

Advisors on the deal included McCracken Advisory Partners, which introduced Resource to New York shops, and Palazzo Investment Bankers.

Resource opened in 1981 with founding client Apple and currently works with Clorox, CVS, HP, Kohl's, Nestle, P&G, Sherwin-Williams and Victoria's Secret.

Ammirati, which opened its doors in 2002, most recently worked with Jerry Seinfeld on the web series "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee," and launched a new ad campaign for beer client Labatt during the Super Bowl. In addition to Mr. Seinfeld, the shop works with Coca-Cola (Fuze, Vitaminwater, Gold Peak Tea), Seagram's, Nintendo, Pirate's Booty, Remy Cointreau, Schwinn and Sweet'N Low.

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