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Brown & Bigelow Merges With The Brandmarket
Vol. 876 
December 15, 2011

Counselor Top 40 distributor Brown & Bigelow (asi/148500) has merged with Newport Beach, CA-based The Brandmarket (asi/145006), the companies have announced. Financial terms of the deal, which was finalized late last week, were not disclosed. "We're very excited to have The Brandmarket as part of our Orange County presence," said Bill Smith, Jr., executive vice president at Brown & Bigelow, in an interview yesterday with Counselor. "We plan to support them by helping with their back office operations, with national marketing and through technology."

Per the agreement, The Brandmarket will maintain its identity and website, but be absorbed into Brown & Bigelow's Tustin, CA, office. Kathleen Watts Smith, founder of The Brandmarket, will hold a key sales and development role and will be joined in the relocation by "select" members of her staff. "We really needed more buying power to give us a chance to grow our clients," she told Counselor. "I look at this like a creative merger because of our agency approach to selling promotional products."

Founded in 2001, The Brandmarket has serviced clients like ESPN, General Mills and Verizon. While not offering specific sales figures, Watts Smith said her company's revenues have increased in 2011. "It's been a great year, especially with our current clients," she said. Ranked by Counselor as the 23rd largest distributor in the ad specialty industry, Brown & Bigelow reported 2010 North American sales of $57.6 million. Its deal with The Brandmarket is its third similar transaction in the last 14 months, following agreements with Best Promotions in March and The Adcentive Group in October of 2010.

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