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THOMAS FERGUSON AD AGENCY MERGED INTO WPP GROUP: FIFTH LARGEST

Executive Summary

THOMAS FERGUSON AD AGENCY MERGED INTO WPP GROUP: FIFTH LARGEST health marketing services firm will become a wholly-owned part of London-based WPP Group plc (under the direction of Martin Sorrel) in the continuing consolidation of the advertising industry. The acquisition was completed in late January. Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Thomas Ferguson Associates' estimated 1989 client billings were $120 mil., with a gross income estimated at $20 mil. Under the WPP aegis, Ferguson will become a corporate cousin of J. Walter Thompson, Oglivy & Mather, and the Hill and Knowlton public relations operation. Ferguson retains autonomy within the WPP network, with its management team, structure and location of offices unchanged. The chairman and CEO is Thomas Ferguson. John Zweig is president and chief operating officer. Thomas Ferguson is looking to the acquisition as a way to expand international resources. The firm may also press to expand the range of its health care client base -- about 90% of current billings are to drug firms. Thomas Ferguson clients include more than 20 health care firms, among them J&J; Abbott; Warner-Lambert; Rorer; Sandoz and Schering-Plough. Product accounts include educational campaigns for J&J's Retin-A and Orthoclone (OKT3), and Eprex. Other accounts include Rorer's DDAVP and Nasacort.

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