CRT/Tanaka acquires Livingston Communications

RICHMOND, VA: CRT/Tanaka said it acquired social media firm Livingston Communications, its second acquisition in 2009.

RICHMOND, VA: CRT/Tanaka said it acquired social media firm Livingston Communications, its second acquisition in 2009.

The Richmond, VA-based agency announced in March that it would acquire Lewis & Neale, a food and nutrition communications firm. Both acquisitions are the result of a long-term strategy, said Mark Raper, CEO and chairman of the firm.

“Unlike other independent firms that look at things one year at a time, we have been taking a long view for many years,” he said. “We are also trying to continue to supplement and complement the areas where we can compete at the highest level.”

The firm and its five employees, including CEO and founder Geoff Livingston, will be folded into CRT/Tanaka's interactive practice but will continue to be based in Alexandria, VA, added Raper.

“We have been really serious about bringing social media in a much bigger way into our agency,” he said. “This was a more appropriate and a faster and a probably comprehensive approach to indoctrinating our entire agency into social media applications.”

The acquisition will add only a 6% net gain in revenues but Raper said that it is a strategic step that will allow the firm to build up its social media staff, clients, and expertise.

Geoff Livingston, founder and CEO of the Livingston Group, who will be named a SVP, and Al Davis, VP of creative, will lead the practice, with both reporting to Mike Mulvihill, president of CRT/Tanaka.

There will be no layoffs as a result of the acquisition, said Raper. The firm now has 85 employees.

In August 2008, Livingston Communications and Social Media Group called off a planned merger in August 2008. Livingston said that when he approached CRT/Tanaka in December 2008 to be acquired, he felt the firms' cultures were a better fit.

Financial terms of the deal could not be disclosed.

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