Hal Riney & Partners, IncOwnership/size/locations -Hal Riney & Partners, Inc., one of the most famous privately-ownedadvertising agencies in San Francisco, CA, was founded in 1986 by chairman andCEO Hal P. Riney himself.With the branch office in Chicago, Hal Riney &Partners Heartland, reaches out to clients in different regions as well. BothSan Francisco and Chicago offices employ a total number of approximately 350employees. Income/profitability -As of July 1996, Hal Riney & Partners, Inc., had an approximate annualbillings of $475 million. The breakdown of gross billings by media are asfollowes: Newspaper – $38 million; Business Publication – $4.75 million; Transit- $4.75 million; Outdoor advertising – $19 million; TV – $275.5 million; Radio- $42.7 million; Collateral – $9.5 million; Consumer publication – $57 million;and cable TV – $23.75 million.Nowadays, the average percentage of earningfor advertising agencies is approximately between .05% to 1% of the totalbillings. With a billing of $475 million, it would be logical to assume thatHal Riney & Partners earns approximately $2.375 million to $4.75 million.
With the acquisition of several new accounts including Acer Group and SprintSpectrum, Hal Rineys billing is now approaching $600 million. ManagementProfiles -The chairman and CEO of Hal Riney & Partners, Inc., is Mr. Hal Riney.
There are over 30 Sr. VPs and VPs holding various positions at the San Franciscooffice alone.Some of the key personnel at the San Francisco office includesVice Chairman – James Travis; Chief Financial Officer & Executive VP – LynMuegge; Executive VP & National Creative Director – Joe ONeill; Executive VP,and Managing Director – David Verklin; Executive VP and Corporate Development -John Yost; and Creative Director – Gerald Andelin.
The Chicago office handles a set of different clients with its owndifferent personnel such as Barray Krause – Executive V.P. and ManagingDirector; Jonathan Harries – Executive V.P. and Executive Creative Director;Catharine Gerber – Senior V.P. and Media Director; and Paul Janas – Senior V.P.
and Creative Director.Hal Riney has recently added Scott Marshall as thepresident on his pay roll after several unsuccessful search for new partners.
In the past 18 months, Hal Riney had also held conversations with InterpublicGroup (who owns McCann-Erickson, Lintas, etc.) and W.Y. Choi (a majority ownerof N.W. Ayer & Partners) in attempt to sale his agency. Clients -Hal Riney & Partners serves a variety of clients from auto maker to fastfood restaurant. Current major clients include Acer Group, Alamo car rentalcompany, Birkenstock, The Walt Disney Company, Cox California PCS, GM Electricvehicle, Public Broadcasting Service, Sees Candies, Inc., Kaiser Permanente,Saturn Corporation, Subway Restaurant, Mirage Resorts, Inc., The Good Guys!,Pharmative Corporation, The Stroh Brewery Co., Progressive Insurance, CrystalGeyser Water, Kinkos Service Corporation, Sprint PCS (formerly known as SprintSpectrum), and Serta, Inc.
Sprint PCS, a recently acquired client, has an estimated budget of $20- $30 million. Hal Rineys first responsibility is to build the brandpersonality and image advertising of Sprints wireless phone and communicationservices. The account is being overseen by Riney co-executive creative directorSteve Sweitzer and creative director Dave OHare. Riney will also createregional print and radio ads to tie into Sprints retail alliance, Radio Shack.
In addition to Sprint PCS, Hal Riney is playing a very active role inSaturn Corporations launch in Japan with the seventh largest Japaneseadvertising agency, Daiichi Kikaku. Saturns goal is to be No. 1 in customerand dealer satisfaction.
Despite its success, HR&P had raised a rather controversial campaign inthe past. It would only be fair to present some of the unsuccessful campaignsto achieve the objectivity of this assignment. One of those controversial oneswas the Swedish Bikini Team for Old Milwaukee Beer in 1992.The campaign wascharged and accused of being sexist by native Swedish and various feministgroups in the US. HR&P withdrew the campaign and later resigned the account.
Corporate/Creative Philosophy -Hal Riney has a special way to talk to the American people.He has aunique way to profile people and make them seem real, thus give them credibility.
His voice was featured at several commercials such as the Bank of Americaadvertisement and the KQED Channel 9 in San Francisco. According to MicheleKirk, the creative director at Macys Advertising, Hal Riney wont pick up aclient that he has no faith in.His ads often give the audience a warm andfuzzy feeling similar to the feel-good ads for Ronald Regan presidentialelection in 1984.
The agency has recently revamped the creative department to expand thenumber of creative brains available to work on each account and new businesspitch. Under the new construction, creative directors can pull any staff memberin the creative pool to work on any account on an as needed basis. Previously,each creative team worked exclusively on two or three accounts.The teamapproach eliminates all the hierarchy in the creative process thus the creativeteam helps to get work approved quickly and efficiently.
In addition to the reconstruction of his creative department, Hal Rineyhas his own corporate philosophy. Riney believes the clients relationship withan agency is like a marriage.He believes the problems dont get solved bybeing ignored. They have to be raised and discussed. The ones who work throughproblems will become stronger for the experience.In other words, if theagency were a person, which would you encourage your daughter to marry?Successful Campaigns -Hal Rineys successful, the Saturn Family, campaign began in 1990 byfocusing on the Saturns employees who work in Spring Hill, Tennessee. For thepast two years, the campaign has focused in on the customers – giving theconsumers a sense of who the people are, what they do for living or for fun, andhow they feel about Saturn cars. The campaign has boosted Saturn sales of morethan 20 percent from 1992 to 1994, as well as the establishment of brandpersonality. The campaign promotes a homespun portraits of the people, not thecars.One of the recent Saturn Family ads featured hundreds of Saturnvolunteers building thousands of dollars worth of playground equipment in 12sites around New York.This family campaign has been going on for over fiveyears, and it is likely the campaign will remain the same. There is no reasonto change a campaign when it is effectively reaching the audience.
Aside from Hal Rineys media use, he was also a member of the creative &political team who created the feel-good commercials for Ronald Reagan in 1984.
It is hard to determine how good of a president Reagan was, but thecampaign did bring victory to Reagan in 1984 in the presidential election.
However, when the Reform Party presidential candidate, Ross Perot, asked Rineyfor an official campaign role, Riney denied the offer.Regardless what Rineydid in 1992, his feel-good campaign for Reagan was a proven success. NewBusiness wins/losses -HR&Ps headquarters office in San Francisco has lost some of its lusterin the past two years or so, while its Chicagos office has done well with newbusiness wins.Recent loss of accounts include Peets Coffee & Tea Co., EddieBauer, Inc., and Aspen Skiing Co., all with a $5 million in billings. HR&P alsolost the $25 million First Interstate Bank account after Wells Fargos buyout ofF.I. Bank.
On the bright side, HR&P Heartland is continuing its business with KinkoCorporation, the nations largest chain of document production and businessservice stores, after a four month agency review.Plus, not to mention FirstUnion Corporation, with an expected billings of $30 million, named Hal Riney &Partners as its new corporate advertising agency. HR&P will be responsible inproducing and developing campaigns to promote the financial services company andthe expanding lines of business.
HR&P also added Acer America Corporation, a computer company, on itsaccount list. The advertising agencys main goal is to raise brand awarenessamong consumers. Its solution is a witty campaign far removed from the tech-and-spec approach of most computer advertising. Skyy Spirits Inc. as wellawarded HR&P, San Francisco, a $5 million account, to handle advertising forbrands like Skyy Vodka, which was previously handled by Monte Sandy & NeedhamAdvertising in Walnut Creek, CA.
Other new acquisition includes Sprint Spectrum with an expected billingsof $80 million, Cox California PCS and GM Electric Vehicle with estimatedbillings of $25 million respectively.Subway Franchise Advertising Board alsoretains its five-year partner, HR&P/Heartland, to handle its advertising withan estimated billings at $85 million after a few months of review. SpecialCapabilities -HR&P, Inc. specializes in brand building. A success example of itsbrand building capability is Saturn Corporation – the homespun feeling. Mr.
Riney knows what his clients want and like.Hal Rineys ability to talk to theAmerican people and his ability to talk to the lower denominator of thesociety have won him several accounts as well as keeping them. Hal Riney hasbeen wanting to retire and to sell off his agency for a few years, but hisclients threaten to withdraw their accounts if he quits.I believe his abilityto cope with clients and the general public have enabled him to stay in businesssince the opening of HR&P in 1986. Primary Competitors -In a recent sales pitch with Subway Restaurant, HR&P was one of thethree finalists who competed for the account. The other finalists included NewYork based agencies – Deutsch Inc.; Devito/Verdi; and Partners & Shevack.
Riney was awarded the account after a lengthy agency review.HR&P was alsocompeting with two other agencies, Lois/EJL Advertising and Mendelson/ZienAdvertising, in the Los Angeles area for the $25 million Cox California PCS, aunit of Cox Communication, Inc., account.
It is hard to identify the primary competitors for HR&P since mostadvertising agencies are competing with one another to an extent.For instance,HR&P recently won the $5 million Skyy Spirits Inc. account from Monte Sandy &Needham Advertising. MS&A Advertising is a small agency with only 14 employeesbased in Walnut Creek, CA. Just a month ago, Hal Riney was competing againstseveral San Francisco agencies such as Atlas & Co., Black Rocket, Team OneAdvertising and Citron Haligman Bedecarre for the $7 million Powerfood(PowerBar) account. The size of the competing agencies for Powerfood rangedfrom 10 employees (Atlas & Co.) to 200 employees (Team One Advertising, a sub-division of Satchi & Satchi).Thus, it is hard to identify who the maincompetitors are based on the billings and the size of the agency.