Some big advertisers hope a partnership with Merkley will bring customers to their business. Merkley + Partners is a leading full-service ad agency offering creative development and brand marketing to such clients as AXA Equitable, O'Charley's, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and Mercedes-Benz. In addition to traditional advertising services, the firm provides specialized communications services for health care companies and multimedia services through an interactive marketing division. Founded in 1993, Merkley is a wholly owned subsidiary of global advertising conglomerate Omnicom Group.
Co-founders Jane Newman and Steve Harty departed the firm in 1998 and 2001, respectively, and Parry Merkley later stepped back from day-to-day management to become chairman emeritus, handing the reins to veteran Alex Gellert. To reflect the changes in management, the firm adopted its new name early in 2004.