Ad agency McKinney adds NYC office

Jan. 18, 2013 @ 04:16 PM

The Durham-based advertising agency McKinney has added a New York City office that is expected to help the agency draw clients, attract workers and keep agency officials up on new media technology trends.
The ad agency, which is part of the South Korea-based global advertising network Cheil Worldwide, now has about 30 employees in New York City and 210 at its headquarters in downtown Durham.
Brad Brinegar, chairman and CEO of McKinney, said agency officials aren’t putting limits on how big either location becomes. He said they intend to grow as “rapidly as we can, still being a better and better agency.”
The New York office is in space that has been occupied by Cheil USA, which will become part of McKinney’s New York group. Brinegar said the agency is looking for space in lower Manhattan, and is looking to move at the end of the year.
“We are not shifting our focus away from North Carolina to New York, but what we’re really doing is expanding our footprint,” Brinegar said.
Brinegar said agency officials have always wanted a presence in New York. He said there are opportunities for “great talent” there, access to media outlets, as well as clients who want to work with a New York-based agency.
“I think there will be clients who (wouldn’t be) interested in having a conversation with McKinney if we weren’t there,” Brinegar said.
New York is also an “increasing technology center,” he said.
“It’s knowing what the emerging media tools are while they are still emerging so we can be at the front end…,” he said. “Anytime you’re not physically in the conversation, there are things that you’re not dialed into.”
Originally named McKinney & Silver, the advertising agency was founded in 1969 in Raleigh. It sold in 1997 to a firm in the Silicon Valley, and was bought in 2001 by Havas Inc.
The agency moved in 2004 from Raleigh to Durham’s American Tobacco campus, the downtown mixed-use development near the Durham Performing Arts Center that includes office and retail space.
Brinegar became McKinney’s chairman and chief executive of the agency in 2002, and led a buy-back of the agency from Havas in 2008.
In July of last year, Cheil Worldwide announced the acquisition of the Durham-based ad agency. Cheil Worldwide has 55 offices in 30 countries.
McKinney’s clients include Nationwide, Nationwide Financial, Travelocity, Samsung, Sherwin-Williams, Gold’s Gym, CenturyLink, Royal Canin, Big Boss Brewing, Urban Ministries of Durham, and the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau.