Kupper on Expansion Spree

Fitzgerald Advertising, one of New Orleans’ oldest agencies, was acquired by St. Louis-based Kupper Parker Communications last week.
Fitzgerald, which claims billings of $6 million, becomes Kupper Parker/Fitzgerald on Sept. 1.
Kupper Parker Communications’ (KPC) purchase gives it a presence in the region that could expand further. The agency has designs on entering the Dallas market by opening an office or making an acquisition, according to KPC managing partner Bruce Kupper.
The goal is to provide “localized service” through a wide swath of the Midwest and South, Kupper said. With the acquisition of Fitzgerald, KPC claims billings of $110 million and revenues of $12 million.
Fitzgerald executive vice president Laura Lee Killeen said the New Orleans shop began looking for an alliance with a larger agency earlier this year because some of its long-term accounts–Premier Bank and Bally’s Casino–had been snatched away by a rash of mergers and consolidations.
During negotiations with KPC, the situation was exacerbated when Fitzgerald’s largest account, K&B Drugs’ $4 million business, was lost after the client was acquired by Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid.
For KPC, Fitzgerald’s allure was its packaged-goods client list and employee experience, said Kupper.
Media planning and buying for Fitzgerald clients will be handled in St. Louis, and some employees will be offered the chance to move north, Kupper said. Creative and account services will remain in New Orleans. Fitzgerald will continue to be operated by president Ron Thompson and Killeen.
Kupper Parker also has offices in Nashville, Tenn., through the acquisition of Miller Media, as well as in Kansas City, via its purchase of Rosenfield Lane.

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