Eisner Communications Closes Doors in Baltimore

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Eisner Communications, a Baltimore-based advertising agency, abruptly closed last week upon running out of money. The announcement came soon after three lawsuits were filed against the company for unpaid debts totaling $115,000.

Problems for the company, founded in 1939, began last October when it lost its biggest client, U.S. Airways, due to a merger with America West Airlines. Following the loss of the $20 million account, Eisner downsized under new management, eliminating many senior management positions and shutting down three subsidiaries.

This year saw further changes in the top when the company lost several key executives to other agencies. Last month, another prominent account was lost when Century Council did not renew its contract with Eisner. The latest in the company's problems, three suits from companies Bright Ideas Advertising Specialties, National Geographic Society and Engine Performance, are pending in civil court.

In 2005, Eisner had revenues of $18.3 million, a 40% drop from the previous year. Major remaining clients included Provident Bank, the Maryland State Lottery and the National Aquarium of Baltimore. More than 50 employees are out of work as a result of the closing, though some have been brought on by GKV Communications. Despite talks, there are no plans for a merger between the two companies.

Not too long ago, Baltimore saw another advertising agency close shop in town. In 2003, Michigan-based Doner shut the doors to its Baltimore operation.
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