INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Geek Factory is no more, as Schwartz snaps itup

NEW YORK: The Geek Factory, the Manhattan-based tech hot shop set

up by Peter Shankman three years ago, has been acquired by GS

Schwartz.



Though it had an established name in the boutique world, the Geek

Factory branding will disappear. Schwartz will gain two full-time

clients (Bigfoot Interactive and Nano), SAE Theresa Champagne, and

two-and-a-half days a week of Shankman's input as creative director.



Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but due to the economic downturn,

the Geek Factory had shrunk over recent months, Shankman said.



The Geek Factory began from Shankman's apartment in 1998, and had become

well known for its irreverent approach to PR, from throwing reporters,

editors, and CEOs out of airplanes to smuggling in and holding up

banners on the Today show for client Juno. At the height of its success,

the company pulled in revenues of dollars 1.3 million and gained an

honorable mention as PRWeek's boutique agency of the year for 2000.



Jerry Schwartz, president of GS Schwartz, explained that the acquisition

was in line with his strategy of finding small agencies in core areas

that had suffered in the current economy. "I'm looking at modest, but

very talented firms that the principals don't want to keep

operating.



We get their clients, their skills, their staff, and their contacts," he

said. Schwartz is also in talks with a small IR firm.



Shankman, who has been described as a "serial entrepreneur," will use

his time outside consulting for Schwartz to "pursue other interests and

figure out what I want to do next."



He added: "My goal was to create an agency in which everybody knew how

to have fun. At the end of the day, that's what I did, and I'm thrilled

about it."



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