TN, Imada Wong make union official

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True north communications has solidified the relationship between its New Americas Strategies Group and Imada Wong Communications Group, Los Angeles, by buying a 49% stake in the agency, which specializes in Asian-American advertising.

The deal has been in the works for months, but officially closed on Dec. 31, according to Bill Imada, who continues as president-CEO of the 10-year-old agency and retains control of day-to-day operations.

He also becomes a vice chairman of TN Diversified Cos.' New Americas division, joining the heads of the unit's other multicultural agencies.

The new relationship "is going to extend our reach," said Mr. Imada, who added that capitalized billings for his shop are nearly $40 million, with revenues of $9 million to $10 million. "It is going to give us access to Chicago, Houston, Nevada, Washington state, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. These are all incredible growth markets for us. We couldn't do this on our own."

Don Coleman, president-CEO of Don Coleman Advertising, Southfield, Mich., which targets the African-American market, continues as CEO of New Americas, which has about $200 million in billings. True North acquired a 49% stake in Coleman in September.

In addition, True North has a 49% share in Hispanic agency Siboney USA, Miami, and a 40% share in African-American agency Stedman Graham & Partners, New York. Siboney Chairman-CEO Jose Cubas and Graham CEO Stedman Graham also are vice chairmen of New Americas Strategies Group.

Imada Wong handles AT&T Corp., Merrill Lynch & Co., Northwest Airlines and Washington Mutual. And it already is working with its sibling shops to pitch new work.

"We've scheduled our first presentation to an outside client [this week]," said Mr. Coleman. The advertiser is "doing African-American and Hispanic advertising and is a top 100 marketer."

AGGRESSIVE APPROACH

New Americas will aggressively approach new clients, according to Mr. Coleman.

"We'll go within the existing client base and outside where we can work together. Sometimes we'll have to work individually," said Mr. Coleman. "At times, Stedman [Graham] will replace me in the rotation, depending on what kind of category conflicts we have."

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