Bates Enters Senior Villages, Plus Plastics

Bates Southwest chairman Jerry Kerr said two new accounts will help open new category opportunities for the agency as the ex-Texaco shop continues to reformulate its service structure.
The addition of senior-assisted living center company Belmont Corp. and Equistar Chemicals–both based in Houston–will give Bates added work in senior-care and business-to-business marketing, according to Kerr.
Billings were still being determined on both accounts, he said.
“As we look to the future, we need to make sure we establish key credentials for ourselves in this marketplace, and business-to-business is certainly one,” said Kerr of the Houston-based Bates USA affiliate.
Although Belmont Corp. is not medical-care work, the account’s position within the seniors marketing sector could also pave an entry for Bates into the healthcare field, Kerr believes.
Belmont’s two new residential centers near Houston are the first of a planned 82 facilities nationwide in the next year. Bates will be publicizing the “Belmont Village” centers through consumer publications, trade magazines and direct mail, Kerr said.
Equistar is a newly formed joint venture of Houston-based Lyondell Petrochemical and Millennium Chemicals of Iselin, N.J., providing ethylene and polyethylene products to the plastics industry. Bates will be involved in industry awareness programs for the company’s Dec. 1 launch this year.
Both new accounts came after reviews involving other local shops, according to Kerr.
Along with an estimated $10 million in added business from client GTE Wireless, the new accounts help further defray the loss of Bates’ Texaco account last August to BBDO in New York. Bates South-west has not replaced about 15 employees who shifted to BBDO’s new Houston service office, according to Kerr.