Well, we’ve just had a chat with Steve Bernstein, co-namesake/president of Kansas City-based Bernstein-Rein and we’ve received some clarification on what we’ve been hearing about aplenty on the Spy line over the last 24 hours. We have been told that B-R is still the de facto agency for Commerce Bank (not the one that morphed into TD Bank, but this one), though the chain is undergoing a “strategic change” and thus, a relationship chance with its agency (one that’s lasted approximately 14 years). From what Bernstein says, there will be no cuts, no agency shifts as of now but a “relationship change” as a result of Commerce’s move.
Yes, it’s cryptic, but that’s what we know so far regarding Commerce and B-R, the latter of which counts a staff of approximately 220. Second up to bat, we were receiving tips that Bernstein-Rein hired a “consultant to restructure agency.” Not quite, according to Bernstein, who tells us that Tim Williams, a Utah-based consultant out of Ignition who has been brought on board process to “survey people on how to improve.” Draw your own conclusions, but we’ve been told adamantly that there will be no restructuring as a result of Williams’ consultation.
Finally, B-R has announced that it’s reunited with longtime client Hostess (well, since 2005), the maker of Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s among other products that went bankrupt not so long ago but has miraculously risen from the dead thanks to both Apollo Global Management and Metropolous & Co. We’re being told that B-R’s new work for the brand will launch mid-summer.