Bernstein-Rein Names President

CHICAGO Independent agency Bernstein-Rein has promoted chief operating officer Steve Bernstein—son of co-founder Bob Bernstein—to president.

The younger Bernstein, 41, who joined the Kansas City, Mo., shop in 1992, is only the second person to hold that title since the agency was founded in 1964. As president, he will lead all day-to-day activities for the shop.

Bob Bernstein, 69, remains chairman and CEO. Co-founder Skip Rein, 69, continues as vice chairman.

“Bernstein-Rein has a great heritage as an independent agency brand,” said the CEO, in a statement. “But now we’ve build a powerful direct response group, developed exciting new proprietary analytical tools that help every client understand their brand and their customer more deeply, and we’ve brought together some extraordinary talent. The agency is perfectly positioned for the future.”

The company is in a rebuilding mode after losing its cornerstone client, Wal-Mart, last year. The shop had handled about half of the retailer’s $580 million account. In recent months, the agency has added a few new clients, notably SunCom’s $25 million advertising account, launch work for Stiletto Super Premium Vodka and additional assignments for Interstate Bakeries’ Hostess brands.

The shop also late last year launched two new analytics tools: Brand Humanity Quotient and MediaMetrix to measure the relationships people have with brands and the way they use media.

Bernstein-Rein had $60 million in revenue on billings of $564 million in 2006, according to the shop. The Wal-Mart loss, however, is not reflected in those numbers.