Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners

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2003 Rating: 3 stars

2002 Rating: NR

After a tough 2002 (major client Revlon exited), plucky New York independent Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners rebounded impressively in 2003. It landed high-profile business like Andrew Jergens Co. and Delta Air Lines (new low-cost spinoff Song), and produced memorable creative. Notable efforts include print for Timex ("Life Is Ticking"); TV for Target Corp.'s SuperTarget grocery division; and TV for Meow Mix Co.'s new hairball control formula, all of which hark back to the shop's cheeky and arresting creative roots. The agency suffered a loss when five-year President Rosemarie Ryan jumped to WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson USA to run its New York office.


Could Kirshenbaum be bidding its independence goodbye? Late in 2003, Richard Kirshenbaum and Jonathan Bond acknowledged talking to Canada's MDC Partners about a possible sale. But the pair has flirted with selling before. Why should they sell? They're still too young to want to exit the business, too independent-minded to want to share management with anyone else, and at a time when independent agencies are back in vogue, too hot to make a deal.