SHS Improves K.C. Foothold

Regional bank UMB Financial’s $3 million advertising account may not be the sexiest of wins, but it is a milestone of sorts for the four-year-old Kansas City, Mo., office of Sullivan Higdon & Sink.

“What UMB does is solidify our position in the Kansas City market,” said Lynell Stucky, managing partner of the 45-person office.

The shop won UMB’s account after a review that included crosstown shops Valentine Radford and Muller + Co., sources said. The bank’s incumbent agency was Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City.

The pitch for UMB was mostly strategic. SHS will look to tout the bank’s independence.

“They were looking for a combination of strategic thinking and chemistry with the people they were going to work with,” Stucky said.

The win boosts SHS’s Kansas City billings to $30 million, just four years after the Wichita, Kan.-based agency came to town through its purchase of The Avion Group, an aviation marketing agency.

“We were just looking for talent to work on our aviation accounts, it wasn’t like we were looking to take over Kansas City,” Stucky said.

The shop’s growth has been driven by healthcare and pharmaceutical clients and Birch Telecom, for which the it won Best of Show in regional Addy awards.