Omnicom Extends Web Capabilities with EVB Acquisition

Omnicom Group Inc. has snapped up a majority stake in digital marketing services agency EVB.

“The benefit is really we’ve got the ability to tap into the Omnicom network,” said EVB CEO Daniel Stein. Omnicom counts powerhouses BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, TBWAWorldwide and Goodby, Silverstein and Partners in its company roster.

According to Stein, EVB will operate as an autonomous agency, and will be managed under Omnicom’s Diversified Agency Services (DAS) marketing services division. “From a day to day point of view I don’t see a lot changing,” he said. “There’ll be some changes from an administrative level.”

The small San Francisco-based creative agency is best known for its interactive, entertainment-heavy mini-sites dedicated to brands such as Adidas, Old Spice and Turning Leaf Vineyards. In addition to scoring Cannes Gold Lions and Silver SF ADDY Awards, the firm raised its profile in a less positive light when a Juicy Fruit blog site it developed got the thumbs down from several Web pundits last year.

A microsite project created for Adidas brought together EVB and Omnicom’s TBWA recently; the company also collaborated with Omnicom’s BBDO through its work for Wrigley. Though Stein said his firm had been in talks with other networks in past years regarding possible alignments, he explained that the interactions with the Omnicom agencies helped the companies realize they’d work well together through a more official relationship.

“All the pieces just fit together,” commented Stein, who believes that the Web is finally coming into its own as a medium. “Interactive agencies in general have flown under the radar for the past ten years and now that capability is being pushed center stage,” he noted. Whereas in the past the Internet has been used to support marketing campaigns on TV and elsewhere, he continued, “Now other media is being used to support online campaigns.”

EVB moved to new offices in San Francisco this January. The firm has about 50 people on staff.

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