SBD/October 21, 2011/Labor and Agents

Octagon Acquires Alloy Access To Expand Urban, Multicultural Marketing Efforts

Octagon has acquired Alloy Access, expanding its urban and multicultural marketing efforts and rebranding its multicultural division as Octagon Access. Alloy, Access’ holding company, reached out to Octagon when it decided to sell some of its assets. “We started talking about their Access group and it made a lot of sense strategically for us,” said Octagon Marketing Americas President Jeff Shifrin. “They tie a lot into what we do on the event side, and we just started the discussion and realized that our agencies do a lot of things the same way and it made a lot of sense for us to partner together.” Shifrin said Octagon looked at other agencies, but Access “just made sense.” “They’re marketing first, they’re strategically led,” he said. “They think a lot of the same ways that we do and that’s why Access was the one that we pulled the trigger on.” Octagon Marketing Americas Exec VP Jeff Ehrenkranz played a key role in the deal, which saw Octagon Access add the multicultural business of such clients as adidas, Allstate, Bank of America, MasterCard and The Home Depot, among others. Octagon was most drawn by Access’ efforts in urban and multicultural marketing. “We’ve always concentrated more on Hispanic-American marketing, while Access focuses more on urban and African-American marketing,” Shifrin said. “So it was really a perfect marriage between what we’ve had for the last four or five years and what Access was bringing to the table.” Shifrin added, “There are very few agencies, if any, that are in the sports and entertainment space that have groups this size and this strategic that can answer questions and provide insights and answers in the multicultural space.” Octagon Access Senior VP Tru Pettigrew, who used to head Alloy Access, will lead the division. Access was based in N.Y., making it an easy move into Octagon Access’ new SoHo office. “We had a couple different places that we had office space in New York City and now we’re just combining them all with Access being the impetus.” Shifrin said the new office opened about two weeks ago.

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