MercuryCSC, the Bozeman advertising firm that for a decade was contracted by the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development as the state’s agency of record, has been acquired by a New York consulting firm, the companies announced this week.

The terms of the acquisition were not released.

JG Worldwide, founded in 2002 by Hamilton, Montana, native Jena Gardner, offers marketing, PR and sales services to travel companies around the world. The firm has offices in London, São Paulo and Buenos Aires.

Gardner has acquired several other travel-related businesses, and the Mercury move will give JG access to the Bozeman company’s tourism clientele and expertise. Mercury was responsible for the popular “Get Lost” campaign that was featured on bumper stickers and posters across the state.

“The Mercury heritage is in travel. Right away, that seemed like a good marriage for (Gardner’s) existing capabilities and focus,” said Mercury’s Managing Director Jeff Hull.

“We’re very excited about this acquisition,” added Mercury founder Jeff Welch in a release. “(Gardner’s) strengths in earned media and strong relationships with the travel trade coupled with Mercury’s strengths in paid and owned media will provide some real synergies across the board.”

Welch will stay on with the company in an advisory role.

Mercury will retain its name and brand and will look to expand its local client base, Hull said, adding that there are no plans to downsize or relocate from Bozeman.

“The story we want to get out there is that we’re open for business locally,” he said.

Mercury held the state’s marketing contract from 2006 until 2016, when the $7 million annual agreement was awarded to a company based in Wisconsin. Following the loss of the contract, Mercury was forced to let go of six employees, about a third of its workforce at the time.

The company currently employs five people in its Bozeman office.

Kendall can be reached at 406-582-2651 or lkendall@dailychronicle.com. He is on Twitter at @lewdak

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