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Ex-TMP/15miles Execs Launch New Agency

The recent implosion of TMP has led to the creation of a new digital agency called, aptly enough, 2nd Act Local Marketing. Its founders are Gregg Stewart, Will Foust and Steve Haar, all veterans of 15miles, the digital advertising agency arm of TMP.

We recently reported on the demise of TMP, once the overwhelming leader in the Yellow Pages agency (CMR) space. The agency’s collapse was blamed on sharp declines in print Yellow Pages revenues combined with a crushing debt, which led investors to call in loans and thus precipitated the fall.

In 2010 TMP had annual billings of $ 230 million, and roughly 370 employees. A large number of the staff has already been let go, with others staying on temporarily to help shut the business down in an orderly manner.

TMP was owned by Audax Group, a private equity firm that acquired the agency from the job site Monster.com. At the time, both Monster and TMP were owned by the agency’s founder, the late Andrew McKelvey.

TMP remains in debt to the major U.S. publishers, which were not paid for much of the advertising TMP sold to national accounts on the publishers’ behalf.

In fact, TMP’s struggles were referenced in Dex One’s 2010 earnings call, when CFO Steve Blondy noted that the non-payment of national revenues by “a single CMR” had a material impact on Dex’s earnings. While TMP was not cited by name by Dex One, it was not difficult to confirm that TMP was the agency involved.

Earlier this month, TMP announced to its client that it will “wind down” its business over the next few months and is in the process of selling off regional offices, and their associated clients, to rival agencies.

One example is Marquette Group, which acquired the Atlanta and Toronto offices of TMP. Marquette CEO Chris Cummings told us that both markets made sense for the clients each carried (he declined to name them) as well as synergy with existing Marquette operations in those cities. Other agencies said to be acquiring TMP assets include Ketchum Directory Advertising and Directory Solutions.

The staff of 15miles was not as fortunate, as the digital agencies will be wound down along with the remaining pieces of the traditional agency, a process that is expected to wrap up in July.

And from these ashes rises 2nd Act Local Marketing. Here is how the agency describes its unique proposition:

The leadership at 2nd Act Local Marketing possesses a unique combination of thought leadership, practical agency and client side experience, and deep industry relationships to provide our clients with the digital marketing and advertising strategies to engage consumers and grow their business.

Local Media Watch – BIA/Kelsey