What do you know, less than a week after we chatted with Steve Bernstein, president of Kansas City-based Bernstein Rein, and were told that his agency’s relationship with longtime client Commerce Bank was basically intact, the Kansas City Business Journal reports that the financial institution has indeed cut the cord. Well, Bernstein did tell us at the time, through somewhat cryptically, that Commerce was undergoing a “strategic change” and thus, a “relationship change” was in order.
We’re trying to get some additional comment on the matter from Bernstein himself, as we’ve been deluged with tips not only pertaining to Commerce, which worked with B-R for 14 years, but the actual staff count at the agency, which we were told at the time was 220. A horde of tipsters, though, say that it’s basically half that. We’re hoping to get some clarification on the matter today, and we’ll keep you posted.
Update: Well, we asked and we’ve been told by Bernstein himself that the “strategic change that Commerce informed us of was that given that there would not be any creative needs for the account in the near future, they would not be requiring our creative services. They would only be needing our media services through at least the end of third quarter.” We’ve been told that this has not changed in spite of the review. Bernstein adds, “They are a good client with good people. We do wish them luck in their future and we will be involved with them as long as they need.”
As far as staffing goes, despite what several of you have been telling us, Bernstein says that payroll sits at 220 associates and there will be no reductions in B-R staff as a result of the Commerce decision.