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Agency's Demise Spawns Startup

BRIEF: Agency's Demise Spawns Startup [The News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C.]

From News & Observer (Raleigh, NC) (June 25, 2010)

June 25--A new marketing agency focused on the pharmaceutical and health care industries has emerged from the ashes of the defunct S&R Communications Group in Durham.

Six former S&R employees, led by Denise Godwin and Kevin Szogas, have formed Group 31 Communications in Cary.

S&R closed its doors in mid-April after 19 years in business. The agency, which also focused on providing marketing services to the pharmaceutical industry, had 45 employees at the time, down from a high of 82, said David Recht, its owner and CEO.

The agency was losing money and struggling with cash-flow issues because of cuts in marketing budgets and industry consolidation, which swallowed up some of the agency’s clients, Recht said.

Group 31, which began operating last month, already has signed up seven former S&R clients, including Carolinas Medical Center of Charlotte and Alcon, which makes drugs for eye disease.

Szogas, who was vice president of business development at S&R, said his firm can succeed where S&R ultimately failed because it’s a much smaller organization.

"I’m a product of the new economy," he said. "I understand low overhead."

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Posted: June 2010