February 26, 2001

CreatAbility was one of nine independent agencies in the Southeast last week to join 90 firms from around the world in acquiring Worldwide Partners, Inc., the largest strategic business network of independent, owner-operated marketing and communications firms.

The 90 agencies had previously been members of Worldwide Partners. The decision to collectively purchase the network is part of a larger vision to create a new category of marketing communications firms, which capitalizes on the local knowledge and market expertise of native owners to respond to changing conditions and demographics in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Offering a full range of marketing communications services, Worldwide Partners employed 5,200 professionals and billed $4.2 billion in 2000. Clients utilizing the Worldwide Partners network include: The Eastman Chemical Company, Credit Suisse First Boston, Dyneon, futurestep.com and Uni-Credito Trading Labs among others.

"This is a new model — instead of having a big bureaucracy dictating from the top, we have created an amoebae-like network that reshapes itself around the lead agency and its client," said Jonathan Bond, co-chairman of kirshenbaum bond & partners and chairman, Worldwide Partners, Inc.

"The Worldwide Partners model is ideally suited to meet the challenges of a diverse global market," said CreatAbility President and CEO Ritchie Lucas. "This is truly the wave of the future: it combines local knowledge and sensitivity with worldwide access and independent decision-making."

The other southeastern agencies in the network that now own Worldwide Partners, Inc., include: Archer/Malmo, Memphis, Tenn.; Harris Drury Cohen, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Leslie Advertising Agency, Greenville, S.C.; O2 Ideas, Birmingham, Ala.; Sawyer Riley Compton, Atlanta; Siddall, Matus & Coughter, Richmond, Va., Richardson, Myers & Donofrio, Baltimore; and The Tombras Group, Knoxville, Tenn.

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