Kirshenbaum Becomes Part of San Francisco

By Teresa Andreoli and Teresa Buyikian

NEW YORK–Either through acquisition or spinoff, Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners here plans to open for business in San Francisco.

Jon Bond, founder and co-chairman of Kirshenbaum, said he was in the ‘early stages of informal discussions’ with a handful of creative boutiques billing in the $20 million range. He would not elaborate.

Sources said one agency Kirshenbaum is in preliminary talks to acquire or form a partnership with is Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif. BS&S principal Greg Stern told Adweek: ‘Nothing is concrete. No agreement has been drafted.’

In a related move and as part of its efforts to win the review for Charles Schwab’s $18-20 million electronic trading ad account, Kirshenbaum has launched a separate unit called Montgomery North in San Francisco.

Montgomery North will take Kirshenbaum’s place in the review, said Bond. The New York agency withdrew from the pitch three weeks ago over a conflict with its $40-50 million Citibank client.

Whether it wins or loses the Schwab account review, Kirshenbaum will establish a permanent presence in San Francisco within a year. ‘If we win Schwab, we will open an autonomous office immediately, and for the first six months it will be dedicated to the Schwab business only,’ Bond said.

BS&S had worked with Schwab on a project basis.

Schwab executives will hear final presentations from agencies this week.

Consultant Mike Marsak of Effective Marketing Strategies in Marina del Rey, Calif., is coordinating the Schwab review. –with Joan Voight

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