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Combined efforts

Norm Marshall buys up The Catalyst Group

NEW YORK — Norm Marshall & Associates has absorbed fellow product-placement agency The Catalyst Group to provide both client rosters with what it calls “a complete range of ‘placement plus’ services.”

The combined agency is believed to be the largest of its kind, offering services that range from identifying script opportunities while on retainer for blue-chip clients to constructing full-blown national promos such as the one pulled together on behalf of Heineken Beer for the June 11 release of “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”

NMA also achieved prominence several years ago by initiating negotiations that resulted in BMW’s figuring so prominently in the most recent James Bond release.

In the Bond sequel this November, BMW will return as a tie-in partner to launch its Z8 model.

Day planner

Catalyst founder and president Dabney Day said the “merger was expressly engineered” to marry “NMA’s sophisticated marketing capabilities with The Catalyst Group’s solid reputation for innovation and client service.”

In a related move, NMA CEO Norm Marshall announced the promotion of Devery Holmes to president.

Holmes, with 11 years at NMA, was most recently senior VP of sales, promotions and client management.

In that capacity, she not only brought Heineken together with New Line for the “Austin Powers” sequel but did the same for “AP” sponsor Philips Electronics.

In focus

Catalyst founder Day will join most of her staff as it relocates to NMA, but her focus will switch to the Internet and converging technologies.

NMA, with two decades in product placement, counts American Airlines, Dominos Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and even Nestle among an increasingly diverse group of customers.

“Clients that never used to be interested in the entertainment business now believe they have to be involved,” NMA chief Marshall told Daily Variety. “They call it the e-factor.”