GRAND RAPIDS — Public relations and investor relations firm Lambert & Co. has acquired ad agency Fairly Painless Advertising Inc. of Holland.
The deal gives Grand Rapids-based Lambert & Co. added complementary capabilities in creative services and advertising. Fairly Painless will continue to maintain its current brand.
Lambert & Co. co-founder and CEO Jeff Lambert said the company had been looking nationally for prospective advertising agency acquisition targets before identifying Fairly Painless in “our own backyard.”
“I first talked to (Fairly Painless Principal) Chris Cook about his long-term plans almost three years ago and again more seriously last fall,” Lambert told MiBiz via email.
Lambert credited mutual friend and fellow Young Presidents Organization member Adrienne Stevens as being the driver “who ultimately brought us together and architected the merger on behalf of Fairly Painless and in a way that worked seamlessly for our teams and clients.”
The acquisition marks a “key milestone in our strategic plan and moves Lambert from a leading PR firm minoring in ad and creative services to a fully-integrated agency majoring in it,” according to a statement.
Founded in 1992, Fairly Painless serves regional and national clients in the automotive and manufacturing, consumer products, education, financial services, nonprofit and retail sectors.
The firm employs 12 people and provides research, planning and creative services in print and digital design, brand strategy, advertising copy and creative, video production, web development, digital marketing services and ad buying.
Terms of the deal, which closed in early March, were not disclosed.
While the deal preceded the onset of the coronavirus and shutdown in Michigan, the pandemic has forced the two companies to adapt throughout the integration process, Lambert said.
“COVID-19 had no impact on the acquisition timeline, but certainly has demanded our most creative approach to integration,” he said in an email. “My last in-person meeting in March was announcing the deal to the Fairly Painless team and everything since — from client intros to onboarding and staff meetings — has been on video.”
The deal is Lambert & Co.’s second of 2020. In January, the company closed on an acquisition for New York-based Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, as MiBiz previously reported. The Casteel Schoenborn deal accelerated the growth strategy for Lambert & Co. and boosted its investor relations and financial services expertise, the company said at the time.