Client Loss May Force Kuhlmann, Lutz To Close

DALLAS: The principals of Kuhlmann, Lutz & Brown in Houston are pondering the viability of the agency after losing core client Administaff.
KL&B, which operated as the Houston-based client’s agency since 1994, was in-formed Oct. 30 that the company will internalize advertising over the next six to nine months. Administaff’s $3-4 million in billings accounted for the bulk of KL&B’s business.
Although an Administaff representative said KL&B may be invited to pitch future projects, agency officials concede they may not be in business once the client begins a possible review process.
“We’ve pretty much evaluated where we are and what our financial picture is without them,” said Charles Lutz, creative and planning partner at the agency. “And we’re fine without them for a time . . . but no question, the next 90 days are critical to us.”
Besides the obvious solution of a quick new business win, the agency is working angles on existing clients and possible merger options. Closing the shop will also be considered, said Lutz.
KL&B was formed when Lutz, David Kuhlmann and Arnold Brown left The Hively Agency in Houston and incorporated with the support of the Administaff account. The shop has built a roster of project work for Houston clients like Shell Oil, Haldor Topsoe and The Flexitallic Group. It also formalized an affiliation last month with Anderson Advertising in San Antonio.
Anderson president Chuck Anderson said no merger discussions are under way, but noted the affiliation with KL&B will continue. “Our new business person is in touch with their new business person,” he said.