What’s Happening Nicholson Kovac?

By SuperSpy 

Is something going on at Nicholson Kovac in Kansas City?

Let’s back up: The Kansas City Business Journal reported in 2005 that the shop had some high level departures including Interactive Director Kevin Gibbs, Marc Ford, director of client services; Brad Lang, director of strategic planning; and Bob Inderman, vice president of public relations.


But, this January, NK seemed to have rebounded with press stories highlighting the agency’s 25 years from its b-to-b agency serving agricultural and industrial clients roots to financial services, high-tech, and business-to-consumer.

However, our tip box has some other things to say. WE HEAR THAT… one high level staffer comes to work drunk and then, blames his ranting on his heart medicine.

WE HEAR THAT… The CFO, Linda Crawford, has put her notice in.

WE HEAR THAT… The new biz man was fired after 60 days.

We contacted NK’s lovely press lady, Renee Robinson, to see if we could get to the bottom of things. Is this just sour grapes or is something a little more interesting going on. CEO Pete Kovac (pictured above) responded with a thinly veiled cease and desist statement, which we had to post:

“As a matter of routine policy, Nicholson Kovac, Inc., never comments on individual personnel matters. The false rumors and allegations you reference appear to be the work of someone attempting to use your blog as a means of settling some personal score.

Whomever is circulating these falsehoods may well be subject to legal action, and we would advise AgencySpy not to become party to this obvious attempt to malign NK.”

The truth is, Nicholson Kovac is a vibrant, employee-owned, marketing communications agency that has just concluded a very successful 2007 and is looking forward to continued growth in 2008.”

We’re just going to mention here, that every agency, including NK comments on personnel changes. They announced when they hired Crawford and also sent out a notice when they hired Phil Gayter. This is advertising. People come and go, so what’s the big deal? Watson, we’re a little suspicious.

So… maybe it’s all crap in a hat? If you’ve got something to say, you know how to do it. The Anon Tip box is waiting for you. We’ll post your comment to this page. Or, send us an email at agencyspy at mediabistro dot com or AIM – agencyspy.


Comment #1:

More info regarding the NK story. We have lost 3 VPs in the last year and one great writer in the creative department. Lost a VP in Interactive, Account Service and Creative. We also had Nick Nicholson retire quickly. The story in then KC Bj drives Kovac nuts. [Editor’s note: we’re not sure what this guy means to say here] It is always number two in google search. More info later.

Comment #2:

I started my career in advertising at NKH&W/NK in 2001. I was offered a dream job and left in late 2005. There was some turnover (like many other places) at NK. I worked closely with upper management and also with those (VPs) let go by NK. It was for the better. I believe that NK is something special. Why? ItÂ’s the commitment of NK employees to work together and produce the best work possible for the client. That is what your blog misses. Even though I have not worked at NK for over 2 years, they still hold a very special place in my heart. Without a doubt, I would not be where I am today without my experiences at NK. It is a shame that bloggers find the worst in companies and do not share that NK was a B2B agency of the year finalist (or winner) like 4 years in a row. Believe me, if I shared what happens in major agencies (owned by Omnicom and WPP) you would fall out of your chair. All these holding companies are about profit (at any cost) whereas NK is about the people, in my humble opinion.

Comment #3:

This is just your classic whiner. Unfortunately every agency has them. There’s not an agency in the world that couldn’t wheel out their skeletons via the disgruntled postal worker on staff. It’s very brave of them to scrawl rude words on the bathroom stall.. unsigned. Someone with a huge (unfulfilled career) ego and small penis (or gender specific equivalent). Word on the street is that they know who this is, and death is imminent. Otherwise great blog. Less ex (or soon to be) employees whining though, and more rapier like commentary

Comment #4:

Hey, I find the post on Nicholson Kovac quite curious for whoever decided to deride Kovac and obviously the rest of the agency. I used to work there a little while ago but still have many NK friends, a couple who I saw this past Friday when I came to town for Xmas. NK was a wonderful experience and is a great agency. From what I hear, it sounds like most of the staff that have seen this post are outraged by this…Pete and nick have always been fabulous to work for, you’ve never met two nicer, generous and caring ad guys. Yes Nick retired, but this was planned and the reason the two of them launched an ESOP (the staff was given free stock) four or so years ago was in preparation for his retirement and supposedly for Kovac’s as well. I’m just sorry I had to leave the agency for personal reasons. Sometimes CEOs appear erratic to their staff…doesn’t that come with the territory? And I heard that he’s had a stressful last year. So is cussing, turnover and disgruntled employees anything new in the ad business? Your tipster is probably on some type of revenge trip. There are many great people who have been at NK for many years…5+, 10+, even 20+ and sounds like some good new hires. Kovac has always been bigger than life — maybe your tipster’s ego can’t deal with that. Yes every agency comments on personnel changes, but they normally don’t comment on why someone leaves or why someone was fired. So put 2+2 together.