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Mosaic advertising & marketing assignments

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Mosaic is a leading sales promotion and field marketing agency in North America with particular strengths in retail and shopper marketing. Headquartered in Dallas, Mosaic also has another nine offices across the country. It was acquired in 2012 by outsourced retail marketing specialist Acosta, but continues to operate under its original name as the parent company's integrated marketing division. Separate units Contend and Frontline specialise in content and instore media respectively. However, Acosta itself has been struggling in recent years. Once one of the country's most admired food brokers, it was traded for several years between different private equity owners, building ever higher levels of debt each time, and ending up in 2014 as a subsidiary of Carlyle Group. However, dramatic changes in the US grocery market - not least massive cuts in marketing expenditure by key clients Heinz and Kraft after they merged - created serious problems for Acosta, and it eventually filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019. Carlyle was wiped out - a rare failure for that firm - and Acosta is now owned by the three separate funds who had controlled its $3bn of high-yield debt. The Acosta bankruptcy mirrors Mosaic's own similarly turbulent history. It too was the product of a succession of debt-laden acquisitions and mergers. The two most significant of its predecessor companies were The Merchandising Group (TMG), founded in 1947 in New York by the former advertising editor of LIFE magazine to promote products in stores under the banner "As Advertised in LIFE", and Canadian sales promotion agency Marketing & Promotion Group (M&PG). The latter was owned for a while in the late 1980s by British firm Clarke Hooper; it was bought back by founder Michael Preston who launched a series of further acquisitions under the Mosaic name, including TMG and US data collection agency Paradigm Direct. By 2001, Mosaic had become one of the world's biggest marketing services groups, with revenues of around $750m. However, performance plummeted following Preston's retirement, and in 2002 Mosaic Group filed for bankruptcy, and was broken up. The sales promotion and field marketing division was bought out by private equity as Mosaic Sales Solutions. Acosta's revenues in 2019 were around $1.6bn (from over $2bn in 2015). Mosaic contributed approximately $205m to that total. Darien Pickett is now CEO of Acosta; Steve Kremser is COO of its marketing, foodservice and European divisions.

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