KGA Closes Its Doors

KGA Advertising, a fixture in the Connecticut ad scene for nearly a quarter-century, has closed its doors. Agency founder and CEO Ken Gronbach said that he wanted to form an “internet-based marketing company,” a goal he hopes to achieve before summer’s end.

The Middletown, Conn.-based agency has been hurt by the departures, beginning in late 2000, of signature accounts Bob’s Stores and Pilot Pen.

Bob’s, worth about $5 million and a KGA client for more than 20 years, moved to startup Velocity Advertising, Boston, in January. Pilot Pen shifted its estimated $10 million account to New York’s Kaplan Thaler Group in March.

CEO Gronbach said no single client defection sunk the agency, attributing the closing mainly to an aborted real-estate venture designed to help revitalize the agency’s immediate environs in Middletown. The shop does not at present intend to file for federal bankruptcy protection. Privately-held KGA claimed $35 million in billings for 2000.

There will be an auction at the end of the month to liquidate the company’s assets. At KGA’s zenith there were more than 40 employees. It is believed that only a handful remained at the end.