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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

PUBLIC RELATIONS–Acquired Agencies Anticipate Brighter Futures

The Corsi Agency, a San Francisco-based company that bought a local ad firm earlier this month, is looking to buy another marketing company in San Diego.

CEO Marc Corsi said he has narrowed down the prospective agencies to four, but didn’t give further details.

Also, the newly christened Corsi Chapman Warwick, Corsi’s recent acquisition, and its head office have picked up their first two joint clients.

The first is a $12 million account of a San Diego software company. The company had begun branding work for the account, but Corsi would not disclose the new client’s name.

The second account is handling public relations and promotions for the New World Challenge sailing race. The event begins and ends in San Francisco, and has made San Diego one of its ports.

The agency did not say how much the account was worth.

There is also news involving another local firm that was purchased in the last year: NCG Porter Novelli, formerly known as Nelson Communications Group.

Neither Corsi or NCG revealed how much the companies paid to acquire the smaller agencies.

Expansion Plans

This year, Sacramento-based NCG will be expanding into three cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, said Karen Hutchens, managing partner of the San Diego office.

Hutchens attributes the merger, which was announced in December, to her company’s ability to grow.

“We didn’t have the personal financial reach in order to bankroll this type of expansion before,” she said. “Now, we have the resources and we can expand and we’re looking to expand very aggressively.”

In recalling their decisions to buy or sell, executives of both firms said it wasn’t simply about the sales figures, but issues that were far more intrinsic.

“You have to have a common culture and you have to have the common foundation of the ethics that you work under,” Hutchens said.

“You have to be able to meld the cultures because if you don’t, you’re going to lose your folks.”

In the professional services industry, the quality of staff that is recruited and retained is all-important, Hutchens said.

At Corsi Chapman Warwick, the same was true.

Corsi and Nancy Higgins, president of the former Chapman Warwick and president of its new incarnation, both recalled their surprise upon exchanging business cards.

The companies shared similar designs, centered on a churning “C.”

Although they took it as a sign that the companies were on similar creative paths, both companies spent months checking to make sure their employee mix and their approach to clients “were a good fit,” Corsi said.


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