Quigley-Simpson Opens for Direct Work

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Anyone would mistake the name Quigley-Simpson & Heppelwhite for a law firm. But a direct marketing agency?

Founded by four DM agency executives, the shop planted its flag in Brentwood, a suburb of Los Angeles, the nation's direct-response television advertising capital.

"It has nothing to do with the names of the four principals," said Gerald Bagg, who heads the agency as president. "The name is somewhat whimsical and yet it smacks of stability and humor. And it's venerable."

The agency managed to register both quigleysimpson.com and quigley-simpson.com as its domain names.

Quigley-Simpson is positioning itself not as yet another yell-and-sell direct agency. So it needs that antiqued patina to stay distinct in a competitive agency market.

Banking on the contacts of its founders -- veterans from Grey Advertising, DDB Worldwide, Williams Worldwide, Saatchi & Saatchi and Sincbox -- the agency already has seven clients. This includes Visa and Hoover Co.

The agency will offer creative concept development, production and media buying and placement. In response logistics, it will handle back-end campaign management of telemarketing and fulfillment services. It also will help clients with merchant cards setup and database management.

Bagg and his colleagues -- executive vice president Renee Hill, executive creative director Peter Smaha and executive producer Bruce Somers -- are working on serving different client mandates.

So, the agency is developing short-form and long-form DRTV spots for Hoover. For Visa, it is to create short-form DRTV and radio spots for acquisition programs for the payment franchise's member banks.

"We're very focused on being accountable," Bagg said. "We get a report card every single morning [on campaigns for clients]."

Clients mostly insist on such accountability in these straightened times.

"Brand managers in major corporations no longer have an open checkbook to go out and create general advertising," he said. "Senior management is now requiring advertising to be more measurable, whether it's lead generation or soliciting orders."

Starting small, Quigley-Simpson has only 10 employees.

"We're definitely looking to hire," he said. "We're looking for client services personnel and then, on the media side, we're going to be looking for media people. We're sort of putting that all together."

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