TUCKER, WESTGROUP LINK IN SOUTHEAST:NATIONAL AMBITIONS DRIVE MERGER

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Atlanta's Tucker Wayne & Co. and WestGroup, Tampa and Miami, will merge to form WestWayne. At more than $240 million in billings, the merged shop becomes the largest independent ad agency in the Southeast.

The new agency handles Publix Supermarkets, BellSouth Corp., Walt Disney Co.'s Celebration Co. and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines International.

NOW A LARGER PLAYER

With the merger, WestWayne will position itself as a larger player in the national arena, able to "partner with any client," said Ben West, president-CEO of WestGroup and president of the new agency.

After the loss of some BellSouth Telecommunications work and the splitoff of Luckie & Co. in December, Tucker Wayne reported billings of $155 million. WestGroup, which lost Outback Steakhouse last year, reported billings of $85 million.

"It's not about the Southeast," said Knox Massey Jr., formerly CEO of Tucker Wayne, who becomes chairman-CEO of WestWayne. "This is about national."

`ELEVATING' EXPERIENCE

"Together we'll be elevating ourselves to another level," Mr. Massey said.

Martin Macdonald, executive creative director with WestGroup, will hold the same title with the new shop. Martin Buchanan remains as creative director in Tampa. Mr. Macdonald and Michael Edmeades, chief operating officer, will relocate to Atlanta. Sid Smith, formerly president of Tucker Wayne, becomes vice chairman.

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