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Crowley Webb & Associates, one of the Buffalo area's largest advertising firms, has announced a partnership with a New York-based agency, which is expected to result in more business for both companies.

Joe Crowley, principal and co-founder of Crowley Webb, described his firm's relationship with Production Resources Inc. (PRI) as an "alliance," under which both agencies retain separate management and ownership.

"What we're doing is pooling our talents," Crowley said. "That enbles both of us to approach current and new clients with a wider variety of services. Together we can offer one stop shopping."

As part of the partnership arrangement, Crowley Webb will close its satellite office in New York and move those activities to PRI's headquarters on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. Founded in 1986 as a two-person marketing firm, Crowley Webb is now the area's fourth largest advertising, marketing and public relations agency, employing 43 staffers, and recording 1999 gross profit of just over $4 million. Its home base is 268 Main St. in downtown Buffalo.

Crowley foresees increased work for both agencies through collaboration, which is expected to create some new jobs here in Buffalo, and in New York.

"The potential is definitely there. I am sure we'll see some expansion out of this," he said.

PRI, with offices in New York, as well as San Francisco, specializes in staging, production, technology, media development and broadcasting, with emphasis on orchestrating large-scale events. The agency's services also include scripting, speech writing and coaching.

"We do many things they don't, and they have competencies we don't, so it makes a lot of sense for us to work as a team," Crowley added.

The two companies got a taste of what it would be like to join forces in a formal way when working for a mutual client, according to PRI President Michael McCurdy.

"Since that was such a positive and productive collaboration, it led to conversations about how we might be able to combine our companies' services to offer clients an even broader array of resources," McCurdy said.

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