Field Reports1 Jun, 2008 By: Thomas Haire, Jacqueline Renfrow Response
Danielson: The beautiful part is that we've worked with clients who spent $5,000 a week and were successful and others where they spend $1.6 million a week. We've had some clients for 20 years, and we always have brand new ones. The array of companies and people we've worked for keeps the business interesting — Fortune 1000 companies, widget guys, entrepreneurs. It's most rewarding to see those entrepreneurs grow a business in direct response.
How does the formation of Mercury Media Holdings affect the company's outlook for the next 20 years?
Danielson: We considered the deal for about two years. It's a great deal because we've gotten the perfect sister company with ARM. We are long-form specialists here, and they bill $150 million a year in short form. We can now go into a pitch and talk about both long- and short-form strength. Our goal a decade ago was to be able to sit across from a client and offer every possible media service. Through this deal, we got closer to that goal.
Cabrinha: Administratively, the deal gives us greater depth and the ability to focus on our core business. It allows us to spend more time on strategy and looking ahead without worrying about the finances.
Where would you like to see Mercury in 2028?
Cabrinha: I'd like to walk into the lobby and see two of those giant portrait paintings — you know, the ones you see in the old bank buildings — of Dan and I. We'll be in a smoky room ... or maybe Dan standing on a rock holding a couple of stone tablets!
Danielson: (Laughs) That's a pretty far off time, the industry will be dramatically different. Hopefully, Mercury Media will still be around — we're building it that way right now, trying to make it cutting edge and adaptable to the new media age that's blooming around us.
What are your personal plans for the next five years, whether with Mercury or in other areas of your life?
Cabrinha: In five years, I think Mercury will be making a play toward an integration of services — direct response in every area: TV, Internet, mobile, all the new media components.
Danielson: All advertising is moving toward an accountable advertising model. We made the MMH deal because we are positioning ourselves for coming dramatic changes with new media. Organically, it's harder to adapt to those changes. With Eos (the company that assisted Mercury during the merger and formation of the new holding company) behind us, we have the ability to look ahead. When digital or mobile become bigger, we'll be ready to step in and grow in that area. I think some people saw the deal as the beginning of a gradual easing back for John and I, but we've been more involved the past two years than in the recent past. We grew up in the business, and many of the people we've known are like another family to us. We love being a part of it.
Cabrinha: The core management team we've built makes it easier to step back from time to time, but it's hard to walk away. We both love spending time with our families, but we also love what we do here. I don't see us leaving it behind anytime soon.