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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Bernstein’

Well, Commerce Did Drop Bernstein-Rein After All (Updated)

What do you know, less than a week after we chatted with Steve Bernstein, president of Kansas City-based Bernstein Rein, and were told that his agency’s relationship with longtime client Commerce Bank was basically intact, the Kansas City Business Journal reports that the financial institution has indeed cut the cord. Well, Bernstein did tell us at the time, through somewhat cryptically, that Commerce was undergoing a “strategic change” and thus, a “relationship change” was in order.

We’re trying to get some additional comment on the matter from Bernstein himself, as we’ve been deluged with tips not only pertaining to Commerce, which worked with B-R for 14 years, but the actual staff count at the agency, which we were told at the time was 220. A horde of tipsters, though, say that it’s basically half that. We’re hoping to get some clarification on the matter today, and we’ll keep you posted.

Update: Well, we asked and we’ve been told by Bernstein himself that the “strategic change that Commerce informed us of was that given that there would not be any creative needs for the account in the near future, they would not be requiring our creative services. They would only be needing our media services through at least the end of third quarter.” We’ve been told that this has not changed in spite of the review. Bernstein adds, “They are a good client with good people. We do wish them luck in their future and we will be involved with them as long as they need.”

As far as staffing goes, despite what several of you have been telling us, Bernstein says that payroll sits at 220 associates and there will be no reductions in B-R staff as a result of the Commerce decision.

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Here’s a Quick Status Update on Bernstein-Rein

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.

Farmland, Bernstein-Rein Part Ways

Two Kansas City, MO stalwarts are ending their relationship as Farmland Foods will be ways with longtime agency, Bernstein-Rein, which has also worked with the likes of Wal-Mart, Ruby Tuesday’s and PetSmart over the years. Anyhow, we received confirmation and explanation from B-R president Steve Bernstein, who tells us, “We worked with them for almost 20 years and with a full-service agency model.  They’re just not interested in that model. It’s been a good relationship. We’ve brought in great people on the account in the past and currently and have gained great experience. It’s bittersweet.

Bernstein quickly added that despite the Farmland loss, “There have not been major ramifications to the agency. The agency is in good shape.”