Parent Firm To Lend Knape A Helping Hand

The autonomous relationship of Dallas’ Knape to parent organization Valentine Radford Communications of Kansas City, Mo., is about to become less of a hands-off business arrangement.
Officials with both offices said last week Valentine Radford will start participating in new business initiatives with Knape, lending the strategic planning and media credentials of the $170 million Midwest agency to the fledgling Dallas shop.
Since Knape’s founding last year under Valentine Radford’s auspices, it has maintained independent operations under president Susan Knape and executive vice president Ted Ingersoll. The shop, however, admitted its size–under $10 million in billings–has hindered pursuits of potential clients with $5-10 million advertising accounts.
“Our new business efforts will highlight the Valentine Radford backbone of our organization,” said Knape. “I had hoped it would go this way. That’s why I did the deal with Valentine Radford to begin with, so I wouldn’t have to spend the next five to 10 years of my life walking up that hill.”
Plans call for account service and media teams from Valentine Radford to pitch alongside Knape staff members. Knape had previously utilized research capabilities and some strategic planning services of Valentine Radford.
Valentine Radford chairman and chief executive Chuck Curtis said the new arrangement will provide his 51-year-old agency with a greater visibility in Texas.
“It’s a much smaller market [in Kansas City]. We have to go 500 to 600 miles to find clients. Dallas is so rich in advertising accounts . . . and I’m not sure how much more we can grow in this market,” said Curtis.
Knape will maintain the ability to pitch smaller advertising accounts on its own. The Dallas agency, however, will not do work for Valentine Radford’s existing client roster, which includes Pizza Hut franchisees and Sprint.