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Eric Mower + Associates enters NYC market with PR firm combination

SYRACUSE — The top official at the largest advertising agency in Central New York has had his eye on the nation’s number one media market for a while.

“I’d spread the word for a number of years that I’d like … us to have a [public relations] presence in New York City,” says Eric Mower. He’s chairman and CEO of Eric Mower + Associates (EMA), headquartered at 211 W. Jefferson St. in the Jefferson Clinton Commons building in Syracuse’s Armory Square area.

Mower had meetings with various firms in New York City in the last three or four years for potential combinations, but those meetings didn’t produce a deal.


He then got a call from a contact in the public-relations industry about six months ago, an individual “who helps buyers and sellers get together.”

SGP Worldwide, a firm that specializes in mergers, acquisitions, and management consulting in the public-relations industry, introduced the two parties, according to a news release EMA distributed on Oct. 22.

It led to a meeting with Middleton & Gendron (M&G) in late June. Several meetings later, the New York City–based PR firm agreed to “combine” with EMA.

“[M&G] was right for us. Culturally, they were right,” Mower tells the Business Journal News Network in an interview.

Middleton & Gendron (M&G) formally joins EMA on Nov.1.

EMA declined to disclose terms of the transaction resulting in the firms coming together.

The local agency financed the combination “solely internally,” Mower says.

When asked what his firm means in using the term “combination” to describe the deal, Mower says, “It’s not an acquisition … because we don’t buy the stock of the company.” 

As the process continues, EMA forms a new company. In this case, it forms Eric Mower + Associates New York and invites the employees and clients of Middleton & Gendron to join the new firm, he says.

M&G will continue operations as M&G/Eric Mower + Associates until the end of 2015 and then adopt the EMA name, which is the firm’s “doing business as” name, says Mower.

Yvonne Middleton, who serves as M&G’s chairman, and Mary Gendron, the firm’s president, will lead the New York City office and join EMA as partners, according to the Syracuse–based advertising agency.

Besides Middleton and Gendron, EMA will also retain the firm’s eight full-time employees.

Together, EMA and M&G create an advertising, marketing, and public-relations agency with more than 250 employees and estimated 2014 capitalized billings approaching $250 million, according to the EMA news release.

The combination will help EMA grow its public-relations business with an additional roster of clients, he says. 

Mower notes that about one-third of his agency’s work focuses on public relations.

Secondly, M&G was offering its clients only public-relations services, but the combination with EMA means the New York City firm can offer additional services. 

“They don’t offer advertising. They don’t offer digital services, like website [work],” he adds. 

M&G has clients in the luxury hospitality and travel and lifestyle industries, and has expanded to real estate, business to business, retail, and fitness. 

Over the years, M&G clients have looked to the agency for marketing-communications services, Middleton said in the EMA news release. 

“With EMA, we will be better equipped than ever to meet all of their needs and to offer new services. We are also very pleased to provide exceptional growth opportunities for our staff. They have been vital to our success to date and deserve the new challenges and support that will come with joining EMA,” Middleton said.

Middleton began her career in broadcast and print journalism before launching the agency in 1978. Her clients have included Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Mohegan Sun, a casino in Uncasville, Conn.; and The Savoy Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.–based  investment and advisory firm.

Middleton and Gendron were appointed to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s crisis-communications committee following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. 

Gendron came to New York in 1977 and spent four years in publishing. She met Middleton while serving as editor of Hotel & Motel Management and was lured into the public-relations field, according to the EMA news release.

Gendron’s work has included public-relations campaigns for the launch of Trump Hotel Collection, a hotel-management company, and the Hotel Association of New York City.

EMA operates additional upstate offices in Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany, along with offices in Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Charlotte, N.C.       

Contact Reinhardt at 


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