KB&P Spinoff Fizzles Fast In S.F.

Montgomery North, a spinoff of Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, has been disbanded following a decision by sole client Charles Schwab to take its $18-20 million ad account from the agency.
Kirshenbaum moved the account and Montgomery’s six staff members into its San Francisco office last week. The business officially leaves in February, said sources.
“When we hired Montgomery North, we thought we were hiring Kirshenbaum,” said Len Short, a representative at Schwab. “But we got a charade, and we confronted that early on We never felt like we were getting the full resources.” Short said Schwab had not yet decided what to do with its account.
Kirshenbaum, New York, formed Montgomery North in July to avoid a conflict between Schwab and its Citibank client, for which it handles $40-50 million in billings. Although the Schwab and Citibank accounts are now under one roof in Kirshenbaum’s San Francisco office, agency principal Jon Bond insisted that the accounts are not in conflict, adding that both clients are aware of the situation.
“We can’t cheat and break the rules, which is why we are closing this office,” said Bond.
Montgomery co-managing director Richard Warren has left, sources said. Co-manager Tim Godsall will stay on and finish a spring TV branding campaign for Schwab, said sources.
Kirshenbaum had beaten Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, among others, for the Schwab business. Lowe also opened a San Francisco office this year. Short added that Lowe recently bested Kirshenbaum in a face-off for a $15 million PGA Tour and U.S. Olympic Ski Team project.
–with Jim Edwards