KGA Hampered by Growing Pains

Conn. Shop Loses CD, Client; Mulls Buyout
BOSTON–KGA Advertising finds itself minus a creative director and the Hitchcock Fine Home Furnishings account as it looks to acquire a small agency in New York.
KGA president Ken Gronbach said a search is under way for a replacement for Michael Hammond, who had been with the Middletown, Conn., agency for three years before departing a few weeks ago. Hammond, who is said to be job hunting, could not be reached for comment by press time.
“They were good years,” Gronbach said of Hammond’s tenure with the shop, calling him “one of the best retail creative directors.”
Gronbach cited a “fundamental difference on the use of research” to craft campaigns as driving Hammond’s decision to leave. “It was just one of those things that didn’t work.”
Senior copywriter Steve Culton is serving as creative director until a permanent replacement–preferably an executive with a strong retail background–is hired.
Hitchcock in New Hartford, Conn., pulled its ad account in-house after running a KGA-created television campaign for two weeks, according to Gronbach. “We were not well matched for them,” Gronbach said. Hitchcock “decided [the commercials] were not working.”
When KGA won the account last June, billings were estimated in the six-figure range.
Despite the setbacks, the 30-person agency is in negotiations to buy a small New York agency with expertise in retail and hotel accounts, Gronbach said.
The deal is expected to close by the end of February. Gronbach declined to name the agency.