Lexington ad firms merge

Two longtime Lexington advertising powerhouses announced their merger Wednesday.

The pairing of Meridian Communications and Jordan-Chiles Advertising creates Meridian-Chiles with more than 40 people.

The new company is housed in remodeled Jordan-Chiles offices in the Fortune Business Center off Fortune Drive.

The merger makes Meridian-Chiles one of the top five advertising firms in the state.

Larry Chiles, founder of Jordan-Chiles, is chairman, and Meridian founder Mary Ellen Slone is president.

"We think our niche is basically being able to offer anything under the new roof," Slone said yesterday.

Just about any service a client could need should be able to be done in-house, which should keep costs down, she said.

Meridian has an extensive background in public relations, event management and strategic thinking, while Jordan-Chiles brings experience in retail marketing, political campaigns and cutting-edge production capabilities for radio, TV and the Internet.

Some of Meridian-Chiles clients now include the University of Kentucky, Republic Bank, Lexington Clinic, Paul Miller Ford and Pieratt's.

The annual billing for the new company is in the range of $10 million to $12 million, Slone said.

The idea of merging was first broached three or four years ago, but serious discussions began three or four months ago.

Meridian had announced a merger with Cornett Advertising in 2004, but that merger never took place.

Meridian's 16 employees made the move Sunday from their offices in downtown's Festival Market to the Fortune Drive location.

The vacated office space at the corner of Main and Broadway will be leased to other businesses, Slone said.

No jobs were lost in the merger.

In fact, Chiles said, he and Slone plan to aggressively go after new business with additional people.