While the tenure of many agency-client relationships are shrinking, here's one that's 30 years old and still going strong: Ackerman McQueen and the NRA.
The Oklahoma ad agency has been the agency for the gun-rights group since the early 1980s -- making it one of the longest-running collaborations in advertising history. A piece on the relationship was a Public Radio International feature this week.
Ackerman McQueen's roots are at the George W. Knox advertising agency. In 1954, Ray Ackerman bought the shop from Mr. Knox, and in the early 1970s, he was joined by the father-and-son team of Marvin and Angus McQueen.
As the story goes, when Harlon Carter, a top exec at the NRA in the early 1980s, decided to hire an outside agency, it came down to which shop knew its way around a firearm. The group picked Ackerman McQueen because some of the bigger Madison Avenue shops "didn't know which end of the gun the bullet came out of," according to a biography of Mr. Ackerman, died in October.
In the ensuing years, Ackerman McQueen supported the NRA through various controversies. But the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December has placed more pressure on the group than ever, as gun-reform legislation has come back into the spotlight.