Horich, Parks combine Accounts, staffs join to speed growth

July 30, 1996|By Abbe Gluck | Abbe Gluck,SUN STAFF

Longtime Baltimore advertising executive Charles H. Horich and Parks, Subotnik & Parks Advertising said yesterday that they have combined their businesses, saying that together they can grow faster than either could have alone.

"It brings together the resources of two different kinds of agencies," said Jonathan D. Parks, executive vice president of the new company, Horich Parks Advertising & Marketing.

"We were much stronger in the Baltimore-Washington market, in the media buying, print and direct-mail categories," he said, adding that Horich has "production strength," especially in radio and television.

Horich, who broke up Horich & Koehler Advertising to become Horich Parks' new president, brings 18 clients to the deal. They include Morristown, Tenn.-based Berkline, a $400 million furniture manufacturer, and Rockville-based Marlo Furniture.

With the exception of his former partner Fred Koehler, Horich said "all the employees who wanted to" have joined the new company, which begins with 16 employees. The merger also includes all of the firms' clients, the principals said.

With PSP's $9 million in sales, Horich's $6 million and the business it anticipates, the company estimated it will bill about $16.5 million.

The merger makes the combined company "deeper," enabling it to attract better creative talent as well as cut costs, said Jim Astrachan, an attorney at Weiner, Astrachan, Gunst, Hillman & Allen in Baltimore, who sits on the board of the Advertising Association of Baltimore.

But because they were successful as separate entities, Astrachan said the two companies don't fit the typical mold of those looking to combine.

"Usually, either you're very profitable and you're fine or you're straining as far as your bottom line is concerned," he said. "But they weren't straining. The wanted to know where they could go from here, what they could do to reach the next ledge."

And the growth potential for the new company is "enormous," according to its chief executive, Martin L. Parks.

Horich agreed. "This doubles our size and gives us more support services, back-up and creative people," he said.

In addition to their strengths in different media, the agencies also have complementary client bases.

PSP, with clients in automotive retail, financial and medical services, brings Horich Parks an exclusively local client base. And Horich, who advertises for furniture retailers and manufactures, offers PSP a name with national recognition, Jonathan Parks said. Only two of Horich's 18 clients are from Maryland.

One client said the merger will turn the new agency into a "one-stop shop."

Credit Clinic Association USA, a Woodlawn-based financial services firm, had used PSP for its media-buying and print services, but used outside agencies for its commercials, said Executive Vice President Brian Felderstein.

"This will definitely give us the opportunity to take advantage of [Horich's] production experts," he said, adding that Credit Clinic, which spends "thousands of dollars on advertising a month," can now use just one agency.

Horich's clients also praised the deal.

Michael Shaivitz, manager of Lee's Furniture of Baltimore, said the merger gives the new company "more capabilities." While Lee's primarily advertises via broadcast media, Shaivitz said he will likely expand into print media to which PSP can bring its expertise.

The new company also said it needs more space -- and that may mean moving out of Baltimore.

"We may stay in the city and we may not," Parks said.

The company, located at 2222 N. Charles St., is considering expanding the former offices of Horich & Koehler at 819 Park Ave. But it may move to the Beltway, "for its convenience," Jonathan Parks said.

L The terms of the deal, signed yesterday, were not disclosed.

Pub Date: 7/30/96

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