Omnicom Invests in Eisnor Interactive

SAN FRANCISCO (04/13/2000) - Adding to its stable of interactive marketing firms, ad holding company Omnicom Group said Wednesday that it has taken a significant minority stake in Eisnor Interactive, an offline marketing firm for online brands, for an undisclosed sum.

New York-based Omnicom will partner Eisnor with a consumer marketing firm and other properties it owns. Omnicom becomes Eisnor's largest minority shareholder, having taken at least a 20 percent stake in the company, says Omnicom CFO Jerry Neumann. Eisnor will work with Omnicom-owned Merkley Newman Harty, a consumer marketing firm whose clients have included Mercedes-Benz USA and BellSouth. In addition to Merkley Newman Harty, Eisnor will work with Omnicom's other interactive marketing companies managed by Communicade, including Agency.com, Organic, Razorfish and Red Sky Interactive.

The deal brings to Omnicom a niche firm that can help promote in the offline world all the clients that Communicade's interactive firms serve in the online world. Eisnor also will help market the Internet services and divisions of clients that Omnicom's other companies serve. Omnicom is the world's largest advertising organization, according to Ad Age, with $4.8 billion in worldwide gross income in 1998. "It gives us more access to the dot-coms out there," Omnicom's Neumann says. "I've just been incredibly impressed with their work, and that's what brings clients work."

Eisnor Interactive says it helps online clients brand themselves in the offline world in ways that build their online presence. The company's projected billings for 2000 are $36 million. Eisnor has developed wireless phone ads for TheStreet.com, baggage-claim carousel ads for MapQuest.com and branded parking spaces. In more inventive campaigns, the firm has branded hitchhikers for About.com, chauffeurs for TheStreet.com, given away bus rides for DealTime.com and paid tolls and subway fares for CarOrder.com. Shares of Omnicom fell $2.19, or 2.35 percent, to $91.06.

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