Knape Changes Name

After a year of behind-the-scenes support from its parent organization, Knape here is changing its name to Valentine Radford to strengthen ties with the $150 million Kansas City, Mo., shop.
Although little changes with regards to Knape’s freedom to pursue its own accounts, the new name will signal a modified arrangement of increased creative and account service support from Valentine Radford’s main office.
“We think we have two paths of growth,” said VR chairman and chief executive officer Chuck Curtis in Kansas City. “Dallas will continue to have accounts separately, but there will be some accounts we’ll work on together.”
Curtis said there are no plans to farm out work on existing Kansas City office accounts–including Sprint, Hallmark and Dallas-based Pizza Hut–to the Texas branch. VR has no other sites or affiliates.
Since forming in June 1997, Knape has tapped VR’s account and media resources. But principal Ted Ingersoll said perception problems mounted over Knape’s semi-independent role within VR during new business pursuits.
“We think changing the name will be less confusing to clients and prospects, so they can better understand the relationship between Dallas and Kansas City,” said Ingersoll. “Also . . . our growth to the next level will be sped up by implementing the Valentine Radford name.”
Knape, currently at $6-8 million in billings, has said it wants to build a $20 million operation by the end of 1999. Its clients include City Garage auto repair centers and Pangburn’s candies. The agency recently de-clined to defend its signature Dallas Area Rapid Transit business.