Columbia-based Chernoff Newman and Charleston-Based Advertising Service Agency to Merge

December 4, 2007

COLUMBIA and CHARLESTON, S.C. – December 4, 2007 – Chernoff Newman and Advertising Service Agency (ASA), two of the Southeast’s most established and successful marketing and communications firms, announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement to merge.

Under the agreement, the two marketing and communication agencies will unite under the Chernoff Newman brand and continue to operate full service offices in Columbia and Charleston, South Carolina and Orlando, Florida with a service office in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

The firm will have 70 employees and annual billings exceeding $50 million. The expanded agency will provide comprehensive integrated communication services for each office including advertising, creative and media services, public relations and public affairs and interactive marketing.

ASA Chairman and CEO, Peter Wertimer and President and COO Larry Jones will become shareholders in Chernoff Newman, LLC. Wertimer will assume the new role of President of the Advertising Division and Jones will become Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). They join with existing Chernoff Newman shareholders W. Lee Bussell, Chairman and CEO, David Anderson, Vice Chairman – Advertising, Rick Silver, Vice Chairman – Public Relations and David Campbell, President and Chief Operating Officer.

Commenting on the merger Chernoff Newman Chairman Lee Bussell said, “This merger is a product of two strong companies coming together as part of an overall plan for growth. The merger will combine the talents of two strong communications firms expanding our position as one of the Southeast Region’s most recognizable and influential providers of communications services.”

The merger will not only provide geographical expansion of the firms, but will also enable the expanded Chernoff Newman to add significant expertise and client base in one of the South’s largest industry clusters – hospitality, tourism, real estate and resorts. The agency already has a significant footprint in other large industry clusters including agri-business, technology, health care, B2B and finance and insurance. Although the ASA brand name will retire with the merger, the Charleston presence and service will continue uninterrupted.

“When Larry and I purchased ASA in 2003 we started on a five year plan to grow the agency into more of a fully-integrated marketing and communications company. This merger brings additional services to our existing clients and puts us in a position to continue to grow further outside our current boundaries,” said Wertimer.

About Advertising Service Agency

ASA was founded in Charleston in 1931 and is South Carolina’s first advertising agency. The agency was acquired by Jones and Wertimer in 2003 when they merged ASA with their Wertimer Jones Marketing Group. The company’s billings exceed ten million dollars per year.

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About Chernoff Newman

Recognized as one of the top firms in the Southeast, Chernoff Newman is a full-service advertising, public relations and marketing communications firm with offices in Columbia, S.C. and Orlando, Fla. Through a client-focused approach, Chernoff Newman consistently develops and implements successful communications efforts for a variety of clients, including leaders in finance and insurance, education, energy, agribusiness, health care, technology, tourism and more.

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