A series of major account losses have taken their toll on The Kleid Co., New York, which has filed for bankruptcy and will cease operations today after more than 40 years as a list manager and broker.
Since September, Kleid has lost the accounts of publishers Condé Nast, Smithsonian and Kiplinger ,whose files total more than 10 million names. The takeover of Kiplinger and its universe of nearly 2 million names Feb. 16 by Direct Media signaled the beginning of the end for Kleid.
“Losing an account like that was the final straw it seems to me, they were having a great deal of difficulties,” said Ralph Stevens, president of list company Stevens-Knox, New York, which had discussed acquiring Kleid as late as three weeks ago. “They ran afoul of a situation that had nothing to with their knowledge or capability in the list business. They overextended themselves in certain areas that they couldn’t accommodate.”
Kleid’s approximately 30 employees were informed of the company’s closing March 2 and given one day’s notice to pack up their belongings and one week of severance pay. According to an industry source, Direct Media is the likely beneficiary of most of Kleid’s existing accounts.