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Midsize agencies, runner-up: Slack Barshinger

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Slack Barshinger, last year's winner in the small agency category, moved into the midsize category with revenue of $12.8 million in 2004, up 27.6% from 2003.

The agency also picked up five new b-to-b clients and launched successful campaigns for existing clients.

"For 16 years, we've been purely focused on b-to-b," said Gary Slack, chairman and chief experience officer of Slack Barshinger.

That experience is paying off for the agency.

In 2004, Slack Barshinger added new clients Orbitz for Business, PayPal, Underwriters Laboratories, Hostway Corp. and Lake Forest Corporate Education.

It also picked up new work from existing clients, including eBay and Harris Bank.

One of its highest-profile clients, eBay Business, continued to grow its brand and market share with the help of the Slack Barshinger relationship.

Slack Barshinger, which handled eBay's initial launch, continued to roll out further executions in 2004 under the tagline, "Dream big. Save big," aimed at small-business customers. The agency is now launching three new executions that will target sellers and buyers on eBay Business.

A leading growth category of business for Slack Barshinger in 2004 was database marketing, Slack said. The agency also beefed up its public relations practice, with the acquisition of PR firm StrongForce Group.

Slack Barshinger added a new customer-learning group chief, two client team leaders and a director of business development, all with strong backgrounds in business marketing.

"We've invested in a wide variety of talent, and now we are broadly diverse with top experts in media, PR, marketing technology and database marketing," Slack said.

Slack Barshinger won numerous awards in 2004, including being named the BMA Agency of the Year, and taking home Best of Show at the Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm Awards for its eBay Business campaign. -B.S.B.

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