KSV Refocuses on ‘Click’ and ‘Play’ for Growth

Linda Kelliher Returns, Bill Drew Moves Up at Vermont Agency
BOSTON–Looking to contemporize its image and broaden its appeal to new-business prospects, Kelliher Samets Volk (formerly KSV) will now focus on two areas of expertise: the Internet marketplace (“clicks”) and the outdoor/travel niche (“play”).
“We were a generalist ad agency and marketing communications firm . . . that’s a death knell,” said managing director Yoram Samets. “There’s a generalist on every street corner and less business because of consolidation. Being smart in two areas gets you in the door with prospects.”
Samets is turning over day-to-day creative control at the Burlington, Vt., shop he co-founded 22-years ago to associate creative director Bill Drew, freeing up his time to work on new business and help design sales strategies for existing clients.
Cheryl Eaton and Leigh Samuels, formerly account managers at the shop, will also play larger roles as directors of brand planning and brand strategy, respectively.
Returning to the agency fold is co-founder Linda Kelliher, who for the past three years had raised horses on Wind Runner Farm in Shelburne, Vt., a business she recently sold. Kelliher and Samets, who are married, are majority owners of the agency; president Tim Volk is the other partner. Kelliher’s return prompted the change back to the agency’s mid-1990s name. Kelliher will now serve as chief executive of agency initiative She-Clicks.com, a site launched last year to help women get the most out of the Internet [Adweek, Dec. 13, 1999]. The unit doubles as an online marketing consultancy (ˆ la Organic Online and Razorfish), though it is still seeking its first client.
The “play” focus “makes sense . . . because we’re a Vermont agency and because of our heritage,” Samets said. The shop’s last major account win, the $2 million Lake Placid Visitors Bureau, fits into the category, as does the Killington Resort ski area, another client.

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.