Keiler Awakens for Aerospace

Keiler & Co., quiet on the new-business front for more than a year, has picked up lead agency status for aerospace clients Lockheed Martin and BFGoodrich following separate reviews.

The victories represent the first major score for the agency’s second generation of managers, who for the past several years have been steadily acquiring more shares of the privately held independent shop from founder Dick Keiler.

“The wins help prove that we’re capable of handling clients of that size in other categories,” including aerospace, said Lynn Taylor, one of the five managing partners of the Farmington, Conn., agency.

Keiler added the $15 million account of aerospace and defense company Lockheed following a review that included Cramer-Krasselt, Milwaukee, and Gray, Kirk/VanSant in Baltimore. DDB, New York, was the incumbent.

Lockheed becomes the agency’s largest single account, slightly larger than financial services client Deloitte & Touche, said Mel Maffei, another managing partner at the agency.

“Strategically, Keiler was a good fit for the direction this corporation is taking,” said Jeff Adams, manager of advertising and corporate communications at Lockheed, Bethesda, Md. The company is seeking an image campaign for all of its divisions that can balance media, creative and account services. Creative will include print and broadcast work.

Keiler prevailed over a field of about a half-dozen shops for Charlotte, N.C.-based BFGoodrich. The maker of aerospace/industrial products will initially spend $2-3 million through Keiler to tout its name change to simply “Goodrich” in a print-based campaign.

“A lot of people don’t realize BFGoodrich doesn’t make tires anymore,” said client spokesman Kevin Ramundo. Goodrich sold its tires division to Michelin in 1986. Web ads break this month; print is on tap for June.

Lockheed and Good-rich join Fairchild Aerospace, General Electric’s Garrett Aviation and United Aircraft on Keiler’s roster of aircraft-related clients.

Formed 28 years ago, Keiler posted billings of $72 million and revenue of $9 million for 2000, modest gains of about 10 percent in each category. Buying out Dick Keiler are client services director Taylor and chief creatives Maffei and Mike Scricco, COO Don Wilson and CFO Bill Smith. Ownership of the independent company is being distributed equally. By 2003, Dick Keiler, who has no day-to-day management role at the agency, will hold little or no equity.