CHICAGO, March 20—Golin/Harris International has enjoyed some of its biggest new business successes of recent months in the social marketing arena, including a massive project to manager the Illinois Department of Public Health’s anti-tobacco efforts. Now the firm is expanding and formalizing its social marketing capabilities with the acquisition of The Nixon Group, a Miami-based firm that handles anti-tobacco efforts in several states.


Nixon has three practice areas—social marketing, healthcare, and consumer brands—and a client list that includes The American Legacy Foundation, Noven Pharmaceuticals, Triarc Restaurant Group (parent of Arby’s and TJ Cinnamons), Fresh Del Monte Produce and tobacco prevention campaigns in nine states. Nixon Group’s fee billings topped $4.2 million in 2001, following three consecutive years of better than 30 percent growth. In addition to its Miami headquarters, The Nixon Group has offices in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.


Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The Nixon Group’s award-winning social marketing team will be the cornerstone of the new practice. The Golin/Harris approach to social marketing will build upon a philosophy that recognizes the value of social action in building trust-based relationships among stakeholders.
“Today’s announcement allows us to formalize what we have been doing since Al Golin first recognized the value of trust-based relationships nearly five decades ago,” said Rich Jernstedt, CEO. “Al’s groundbreaking wisdom was the forerunner to the cause marketing, social marketing and corporate philanthropy models that are becoming more prevalent in the public relations field today.  With our new social marketing practice, we are giving deeper purpose to his time-proven vision that good deeds are, in fact, good business.”
The acquisition also allows Golin/Harris to become a leader in Florida.
“From the first time I met Rich, Al and the rest of the Golin/Harris leadership team, I knew this is where we belonged,” said David Nixon, CEO and founder of The Nixon Group. “Our phenomenal success these past few years is rooted in our ability to attract great people and provide an environment where they can flourish. We found that Golin/Harris shares the same values and priorities that we cherish, while also offering us resources, professional development and leadership that will allow us to better serve our clients.”
Nixon will become an executive vice president, assisting in managing and developing the firm’s healthcare, consumer marketing and corporate communications business throughout the southeast region of the U.S. Rob Anderson, a Nixon Group shareholder, will also become an executive vice president and lead the new D.C.-based social marketing practice. 
Shareholders Lisa Mozloom and Chris Shardlow will be senior vice presidents of the firm and manage Golin/Harris’s day-to-day Florida operations.