Advertising was one of my beats when I worked at the Tampa Bay Business Journal in the mid-1990s, and it was something that I really enjoyed. Advertising people are creative and interesting, and the work they do is often clever and attention-getting — at least, it’s SUPPOSED to be. Bill Lipphardt was a successful young guy on the Tampa ad scene and I wrote about him several times. Tragically, he died in 2000 at age 47 when his Porsche crashed during the holiday season.
Ad firm expanding as billings take off
When St. Petersburg-based Sun Jet dumped its New York ad agency and went shopping for a local replacement, it eyed the top of the list — WestWayne, the Bay Area’s biggest agency, and FKQ Advertising, another big gun.
That’s why more than a few eyebrows were raised last month when the three-year-old airline passed up those two agencies in favor of Lipphardt Advertising, a smaller shop whose 1995 gross billings were only around $9 million — a figure exceeded by about a dozen other local agencies.
There may be more eyebrow-raising in the coming months: Lipphardt expects to more than triple those 1995 billings next year and said they may go even higher than that.
Admittedly, a significant chunk of that increase will come from Sun Jet, the agency’s newest client, which will probably add around $10 million to Lipphardt’s top line. But other new business, plus additional revenue from existing clients, will also weigh in, and Lipphardt is busy gearing up.