Last year was pegged as the ‘Year of the Woman’ in politics, but for the Midwest advertising region, 1992 will be remembered as the year small and mid-sized agencies triumphed in" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

MIDWEST’S HOTTEST By Beth Heitzma

Last year was pegged as the ‘Year of the Woman’ in politics, but for the Midwest advertising region, 1992 will be remembered as the year small and mid-sized agencies triumphed in

Twelve of the hottest 15 Midwest agencies posted billings between $50 million and $160 million and all realized a double-digit increase compared to 1991.
Conspicuously absent from the list were creative powerhouses and big billing shops. Instead, shops with retail accounts saw the biggest gains in 1992.
Yaffe & Co. (Fretters), Hal Riney & Partners (Subway) and Bernstein-Rein (Wal-Mart, Blockbuster Video) steadily grew with retail accounts leading the charge.
While larger agencies were busy spending to win or hang on to high-profile image accounts, smaller shops quietly weathered the tough economy. Smart agencies paid close attention to a broader range of client needs. Direct response, sales promotion, trade advertising and graphic design emerged as some of the major revenue-generating services for smaller shops.
‘Smaller agencies are more inclined not to do business in the same way, while big agencies wait around for things to go back to the way they were and it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,’ said Al Hietala, ceo at Colle McVoy/Minneapolis, whose agency posted a 20.6% increase.
Agencies also saw success as they became, in essence, extended client marketing departments. With reduced marketing staffs, clients relied on agencies as marketing partners and asked for solutions to problems beyond advertising. Smaller agencies were able to offer clients laser-beam attention and had advantages over big agencies with separate subsidiaries.
‘Clients are looking for quick-fix solutions and often can’t always afford image advertising,’ said Peter Krivkovich, Cramer-Krasselt president/coo. C-K posted a 12.6% increase over 1991 billings. ‘The smaller agency has economies of scale. They can pay more attention to the smaller parts of an account that big agencies probably aren’t as interested in.’
Article includes table listing 15 Midwest agencies, rank, 1992 billings, % change from 1991. Omitted: Adweek performance index, 1991 billings.
THE MIDWEST’S HOTTEST AGENCIES OF 1992
Agency 1992 Billings Change vs 1991
Thou $
1 Yaffe & Co., Southfield, MI 55,327 +56.2%
2 Hal Riney & Partners/Heartland, Chicago 65,100 +37.9%
3 Valentine-Radford, Kansas City 119,060 +28.4%
4 Grant/Jacoby, Chicago 72,800 +27.7%
5 J. Walter Thompson, Detroit 575,000(*) +18.6%
6 BBDO, Southfield, MI 181,803 +21.5%
7 Bayer Bess Vanderwarker, Chicago 151,338 +20.8%
8 Colle & McVoy, Minneapolis 64,000 +20.6%
9 CME KHBB, Detroit 200,000(*) +18.3%
10 Hameroff/Milenthal/Spence, Columbus 55,209 +20.3%
11 Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City 159,112 +17.5%
12 Laughlin/Constable, Milwaukee 80,500 +17.7%
13 BBDO, Minneapolis 77,100 +13.5%
14 Jack Levy & Associates, Chicago 77,400 +12.6%
15 Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago 63,770 +12.8%
(*) estimated
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)