Two local communications firms announced yesterday that they will join forces, as John Marks Associates of Brooklandville said it will merge with BB&Y Inc. of Baltimore.
The deal unites Marks' advertising background with BB&Y's expertise in public relations and media affairs, the firms said in a statement.
BB&Y president John Yuhanick said no money changed hands; instead, he will take his clients to John Marks and be a full partner in its new public-relations division.
"Some of the reason I wanted to do a merger was to increase my revenue," said Mr. Yuhanick, who said business for his four-person shop got tougher in recent years as bigger firms sought smaller accounts more aggressively in a difficult market. "I'll have the full support of Jack's [Mr. Marks'] staff. I'll be able to support his clients, which will be more business for me."
John Marks President Jack Marks said he pursued the merger, which the two sides first discussed two years ago, because clients were demanding that image-makers be able to use more tools than placing advertisements.
"It [public relations] was a void we didn't have," Mr. Marks said. "Marketing is so much more complex, and you have to be able to offer the whole spectrum."
Marks had about 20 employees before the merger, which will take effect tomorrow.
The two men have known each other since they were advertising sales representatives for competing television stations. Mr. Yuhanick, a former salesman for the Baltimore Sun Co., worked at WBAL-TV and Mr. Marks for WMAR-TV.
"We go back a long way," Mr. Marks said.
The combined firm will have a client list including the Heritage Auto Group, Standard Carpet, WBAL-TV, Anne Arundel Medical Center and the World Trade Center Institute.