AMV’s Traffic teams up with sister shop BHWG

Traffic Interactive, the new-media agency owned by the Abbott Mead Vickers Group, is forming a strategic link with its sister direct marketing agency, Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray.

Traffic Interactive, the new-media agency owned by the Abbott Mead

Vickers Group, is forming a strategic link with its sister direct

marketing agency, Barraclough Hall Woolston Gray.



Traffic will move into BHWG’s building, though the two agencies will

retain separate managements for the time being. Simon Hall, the chief

executive and founding partner of BHWG, denied that the agencies were

formally merging.



’Traffic is moving into our building because it has grown massively

since its launch - from just two people to around 90 by the end of this

year,’ he said. ’We’re not planning a merger but they are clearly coming

here because we have plans to significantly strengthen the links between

the two businesses and enhance the integration that already exists.’



The plans follow a trend for direct marketing agencies to shore up their

new-media capabilities by forming alliances and mergers with

specialists.



Last month, another top ten direct marketing agency, the Havas-owned

Evans Hunt Scott, announced it was to merge with its sister new-media

and design studio, Realtime, to form ehs:realtime. Few major direct

marketing agencies these days are without a new-media offering, although

most, such as WWAV Rapp Collins’s WWAV Digital, IMP’s Blue Marble and

Brann’s Full Circle, have a separate brand.



Traffic is headed by its managing director, Martin Child, who was a

director of the group’s sales promotion agency, Clarke Hooper, which

bought a majority stakeholding in Traffic in August 1997. Clarke

Hooper’s chief executive, Barry Clarke, is Traffic’s chairman. Clarke

Hooper has since merged with its sister agency, Momentum, further

integrating the AMV Group’s marketing services agencies.



Hall added: ’Our clear vision is about integration between on- and

offline communications and all of our clients have a need for that. We

have spent a lot of time recently developing relationships with

different specialists, especially Organic in the US, with which we will

continue to work.’



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