Aspen Acquires Townsend to Bolster Digital Repertoire

Aspen Marketing Services has acquired the Townsend Agency for an undisclosed sum. The marketing agency purchased the digital marketing group to acquire its expertise in business to business and e-mail advertising technology, and to bring its four major clients into its fold.

“The clients that they bring to the table [are] Allstate, Capital One, Discover and Rewards Network,” said Patrick O’Rahilly, president and CEO of Aspen Marketing Services. “We looked at a lot of companies, and we found Townsend’s e-mail to be one of the strongest, not only from a creative standpoint but also being able to push it out.”

Aspen Marketing has acquired several digital firms in recent years, including SRI Analytics in 2005 and DVC Worldwide in 2006. Through the inclusion of Townsend, Aspen intends to become a known force in the digital marketing arena, according to O’Rahilly.

“We are being very aggressive in the MMA category of digital. We’re continuing looking to bolster our current digital offering. We will be active in the second quarter of 2007,” he said. “You’re going to see that Aspen is serious about being a strong competitor to the likes of Digitas, to the likes of other digital companies out there. That Aspen is looking to be considered as one of the top tier digital agencies in the United States.”

Of the two founders of Townsend, Phil Walkenshaw will retire following the acquisition, while David Ives will continue on. The approximately 50 other employees of Townsend will be incorporated into the Aspen team, but will initially stay at their Rosemont, Ill.-based office outside of Aspen’s headquarters of Chicago. The Townsend brand name will no longer be used by the firm.

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