Modem Media, Poppe Tyson to Merge

True North Communications (TNC) said that its Modem Media and Poppe Tyson Inc. units will be merged into a single company, to be called Modem Media . Poppe Tyson.

The new company will be majority owned by TNC and headquartered in Westport, CT. True North acquired Modem Media in 1996 for an estimated $25 million. Last year, True North acquired Bozell Worldwide, the holding company for Poppe Tyson.

The merger “will create the largest digital marketing communications organization in the world,” with operating offices on five continents in eight major cities across the globe, TNC said. Billings for the two companies were not disclosed.

Modem Media . Poppe Tyson will provide a complete range of strategic marketing consulting, technology, creative, production and media services. The merger brings together seasoned industry professionals organized around core competencies for interactive business services, TNC said.

“The dynamics of the Internet are creating new business opportunities every day. By leveraging our enormous talent and expertise under one cohesive service architecture, we can help global marketers create value from these opportunities,” said G.M. O’Connell, co-founder and chairman of Modem Media. “Put simply, this agreement redefines the standard for world-class client and marketing services in the digital arena.”

“There has always been a merger of the minds between us on the vision and the value of today’s interactive marketplace,” said Kevin C. Clark, chairman and CEO of Poppe Tyson. “I’m extremely proud that we’ve taken that shared vision to the next level.”

Under the new management structure, O’Connell will serve as chairman and CEO of the resulting combined organization, with a particular focus on strengthening and developing the new company’s strategic service architecture and creative product. O’Connell also will lead the company’s key marketing and sales initiatives.

Kevin C. Clark assumes the role of vice chairman with a primary focus on realizing emerging business opportunities and company expansion. Modem Media President Bob Allen will serve as president of the new entity, heading the day-to-day management and operation. True North non-executive chairman and director, Richard Braddock, will join the board of directors of the new organization as chairman of the board. True North Communications (TNC) will continue to be the majority shareholder in Modem Media . Poppe Tyson.

Said Braddock: “This merger validates TNC’s early investment in this rapidly growing interactive segment, and represents significant value to our shareholders worldwide.”

Modem Media . Poppe Tyson will become the primary digital marketing communications services holding of TNC, held in its technology services division, TN Technologies Inc.

Established in 1987, Modem Media claims to be the first agency dedicated exclusively to interactive marketing. Modem Media employs more than 200 people and is headquartered in Westport, with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London and Hong Kong. Clients include: 3Com; AT&T; Delta Air Lines; Intel; JCPenney and Unilever.

Poppe Tyson Inc. is a global interactive marketing company headquartered in New York City, with offices in Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong, Sydney and Sao Paolo. Clients include: Harper Collins; Hasbro-Interactive; ING Barings; Johnson & Johnson; Kodak and Sony.

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