Hal riney & partners, now 10 years old and almost fully transitioned away from its image as a one-man shop, is beginning to reap the fruits of its new management team with billings up to $705 million in 1997 from $622 million in 1996, much of it achieved by mining current clients, particularly Sprint Corp. and Saturn Corp. Beyond solidifying top creative by teaming veteran Art Director John Doyle with Dave O'Hare, Riney has developed a major retail advertising capability, cranking out an average of almost four ads per day. The operation also will well serve Riney's newest client, America West Airlines, and First Union Bank, continuing to expand through acquisition.
Riney faces its biggest challenge since building the "different kind of company" brand it built for Saturn -- currently taking a sales hit from the drop in demand for its small passenger cars. Realizing its shortcomings in the pitch for Levi Strauss & Co.'s jeans business, Riney has begun to build a base of clients such as sports energy products company Clif Bar; Marmot Mountain, marketer of outdoor clothing; and 3DO Corp., marketer of videogames, which target young males and allow for edgy advertising.
Riney, moving into a new office building near San Francisco's waterfront, still has additional growth issues to consider. Those include the independent shop's international capabilities, and whether it should build non-creative capabilities, such as direct marketing, sales promotion and PR.