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Agency Rating: 2

Martin Agency kept a low profile at the turn of the century. The Richmond, Va.-based agency chugged along in 1999, adding $90 million in net growth to its new business coffers.

Martin reaped the benefit from the Internet advertising boom, reeling in a gaggle of dot-com clients, including CareerBuilder, Motley Fool, Carfax, Performance Bike, Smart Online and

On the offline front, the agency picked up the TV assignment for Kohler Co. In spring 1999, Martin and client Wrangler Co. said they no longer fit, and parted ways on the creative account. Bank One also severed its relationship with Martin at the beginning of the year. Creative continued to be strong on the print front. However, other than the well-received K-Sentials campaign for Kellogg Co., the agency didn't debut much standout work last year.

Although Martin appears to be stable with Kellogg -- gaining an additional assignment for Lender's Bagels in 1999 -- some are wondering what's next for the agency in that relationship. Kellogg said in November it would shift from the multi-brand K-Sentials effort to focus more on its single brands, which are handled by other agencies.

Looking ahead

Martin's dot-com new business streak proves the agency can more than function in an increasingly interactive marketplace. Still, look for the shop to chase some bigger billing -- and non-Internet -- accounts.

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