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Cooper Takes Charge Of HMS

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The agency formerly known as HMS Partners in Miami is in the process of reinventing itself with a new name, a new owner and an ambitious new retail client.
Agency president and chief executive officer Ric Cooper--who is now the majority stockholder in the renamed Cooper HMS Partners and essentially owns the shop--was basking in the warm glow of winning the $10-15 million Sunglass Hut business late last week.
Cooper said his Miami agency now has only an affiliation with HMS Partners, which is once again headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. HMS vice chairman Rick Milenthal will work mostly at the Columbus office, Cooper said. The two shops are pooling their talents to pitch new business, including the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Ford Dealership Associations.
The newly named agency won the Sunglass Hut business after a shootout with Harris Drury Cohen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.. Both shops said they decided not to pursue the $70 million State of Florida anti-tobacco account in order to focus on the Coral Gables, Fla.-based retail business.
The business was previously at Crispin Porter & Bogusky in Miami. Sunglass Hut had budgeted about $5 million, predominantly on trade advertising for its co-ops.
Cooper said that the client is planning to launch its first consumer branding and image campaign in March, an endeavor that will include television, print and radio work.
He added that the Sunglass Hut advertising campaign will be supported by point-of-purchase materials that will also be created by the agency.
Sources familiar with the business estimate the value of the Sunglass Hut account in the $10-15 million range.
"This is a huge deal for this agency and a big win for this part of the country," said Cooper. "I've recruited a lot of people with retail experience, and our understanding of that category, I think, gave us the edge."