“I’ve known Mike Hart for more than 20 years through the 4As (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and have long admired his agency’s work, talent and integrity, Cary Hatch, above, managing director of Hart’s D.C. office and former CEO of MDB Communications, told Capitol Communicator. “Rarely do you happen upon the opportunity to become part of a larger firm and still keep the meaningful relationships and commitments to the community. We have so many shared industry categories, values and complementary resources, it made this an easy decision.”
“Growing with the Hart powerhouse gives our clients, people and prospects an expanded palette to advance their success. regionally, nationally and internationally. With the addition of in-house video production, performance marketing and analytics, and PR/crisis communications, we can provide even more support for brands in our growing portfolio of clients,” says Hatch.
“Both with an independent mindset, our shared cultural and client-focused values made the decision to join Hart an easy one,” added Hatch. “This announcement is a mutually beneficial one, and we couldn’t be more excited to begin our work together.”
All MDB employees have been offered an opportunity to remain with the firm, and the D.C. office will be called Hart | MDB+.
“Coming off a landmark year for the organization, Hart’s acquisition of MDB Communications adds decades of experience, impressive talent and a strong clientele to the Hart portfolio,” said Marc Paulenich, president of Hart. “As we continue to meet the evolving needs of our clients, we are thrilled to be bringing MDB’s similarly minded service mindset into our agency’s diverse offerings.”
Paulenich told Capitol Communicator that this acquisition was the marriage of two celebrated agencies coming together and, in D.C., the goal is to continue to build on what Hatch created. There will be no “massive changes” immediately but, over time, there will be more integration of efforts.”
“This is not a a service office,” he stressed.
Founded over 40 years ago, MDB, states a release, “is a growth-driven agency fiercely dedicated to providing clients with cutting-edge marketing capabilities. In joining forces with Hart, MDB will be bringing its full-funnel marketing approach that pairs a focus on both brand and performance.”
In January 2022, a D.C. Lottery advertising and marketing contract worth nearly $70 million was awarded to a team led by Taoti Creative after MDB, the incumbent, protested the agency’s selection.
MDB ‘s loss of the D.C. Lottery contract had no impact on her decision to sell, Hatch said. “While any loss is disappointing, the major focus of this transition was based on our combined strength to meet the evolving needs of our clients,” she told Washington Business Journal.
“We’re not going to see a change in revenue; if anything, we’ve got some wins to announce.”
MDB was the 16th largest advertising agency in Greater Washington, according to the most recent Washington Business Journal research. In 2020, MDB had $4.82 million in revenue and $32.17 million in capitalized billings, reports WBJ.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.