The Reeves Agency and the 21st Century Group Inc. are considering a merger by year's end, according to an executive with one of the businesses.
Already, the two Baltimore-based advertising and public relations agencies have moved into one space in the Candler Building and share a receptionist. Previously, they were in next-door suites of the 111 Market Place offices.
"We've been working together on a lot of projects in the past two years and have found a lot of efficiencies," said Adrian Harpool, senior vice president of 21st Century Group, which was formed five years ago. "We expect by year's end to merge. What the form looks like at the other end is hard to predict."
Rebecca Reeves, president and chief executive officer of the Reeves Agency, did not return telephone calls.
Harpool said that he has dropped two employees, from seven to five, since joining forces with Reeves. He said 15 Reeves employees attended a recent staff meeting, but he is unsure of the total number of employees currently working at the agency.
"We found a lot of the skills we needed were here, so it didn't make sense to duplicate efforts," he said.
The Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies listed Reeves as having 33 employees in January 1999 and $36 million in annual billings. Eighteen months later, in July 2000, the same directory reported the agency as having dropped to 20 employees and $30 million in annual billings.
Because the Reeves Agency is women-owned and 21st Century is African-American owned, the two businesses will be able to target specific business.