Bite, Allison & Partners buy Bay Area boutiques

SAN FRANCISCO: Bite Communications and Allison & Partners have both acquired Bay Area boutiques to strengthen their expertise in consumer technology and professional services, respectively.

SAN FRANCISCO: Bite Communications and Allison & Partners have both acquired Bay Area boutiques to strengthen their expertise in consumer technology and professional services, respectively.

Technology-focused Bite has acquired the PR division of Parachute Marketing. Parachute will continue as a marketing communications firm, based in San Diego, run by partner Diane Law. Joining from Parachute is president and CEO Virginia Jamieson, who will be Bite's VP of consumer technology.

Bite's UK operations works with consumer tech clients, but its US office has predominantly focused on b-to-b companies.

North America GM Burghardt Tenderich points out that attention from both the media and investors is shifting toward consumer technology companies. Thus, the firm's efforts to bring in executives with consumer-marketing expertise.

Among the clients coming with Jamieson are IDG World Expo, which produces such trade shows as Macworld and LinuxWorld, and OQO, which develops pocket-sized PCs.

Jamieson started Parachute two-and-a-half years ago. She said the "virtual" firm had grown to the point where she needed to either establish a physical agency or merge with another firm.

Allison & Partners, a generalist agency, has acquired Blattel Communications, a boutique specializing in professional services PR.

Allison, which had revenue of about $6 million last year, is now an $8 million firm. And with Blattel's 12 employees joining the firm, it now has 70 employees.

The acquisition puts Allison in the position to take advantage of the demand for PR services in the underserved professional services industry, including law firms and real estate.

Ellen Blattel, president of the nearly 16-year-old San Francisco-based Blattel, will join Allison as a partner, and will run the newly formed Allison Blattel Professional Services Group.

Bite and Allison did not disclose financial details of the acquisitions.

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