Wolf builds in U.S.

Wolf Advertising of Toronto continues to follow through with the expansion strategy started more than six years ago by Chairman Larry Wolf.The recent acquisition of Rochester, n.y.-based ad agency Winterkorn Lillis Advertising helps to round out the services Wolf can offer...

Wolf Advertising of Toronto continues to follow through with the expansion strategy started more than six years ago by Chairman Larry Wolf.

The recent acquisition of Rochester, n.y.-based ad agency Winterkorn Lillis Advertising helps to round out the services Wolf can offer Canadian companies looking to expand into the u.s.

Wolf says he has concentrated the agency’s growth in upper New York state because a North-South trading configuration makes more sense than East-West for Ontario companies.

The region has a population of almost 12 million, compared with 27 million for all of Canada.

The new agency, now called Wolf Winterkorn Lillis, adds scientific and business-to-business advertising capabilities to Wolf’s three other u.s. shops.

Wolf Mansfield Bolling Advertising, an advertising, sales promotion and integrated marketing firm, was bought six years ago and a second Buffalo, n.y.-based firm, Wolf Carr Public Relations, two years later.

Wolf Bolling Goldstein Advertising in New York is a small consumer agency that was added about a year ago.

Wolf’s combined billings are now more than $60 million, with Canada accounting for only about one-fifth.

u.s. clients include Kodak, Corning, mdt, Precision Scientific Group, Fisher-Price Toys, Citibank, Campbell Soup, Elan Frozen Yogurt and Indian Summer Foods.

Wolf says because Canada is such a diverse country, agencies have become sensitive to the differences in cultures.

It is easier for Canadians to understand u.s. consumers and how business is done in the u.s., than the other way around.

Exceptional service

Canadian firms provide exceptional service and because they are also used to working with smaller budgets, there is a great chance for them to move into the u.s. market.

Because a $1-million account is considered large in Canada, but not in the u.s., Wolf says that often means the client is not getting first-class service from its u.s. shop.

Another Canadian company succeeding south of the border is Toronto retail agency Saffer Advertising.

Its Chicago-based Saffer/ Cravit lists clients such as Montgomery Ward & Company and Northern Automotive, and bills more than US$100 million.

Margaret Cioffi, president of Toronto retail shop Cioffi Associates Advertising, says Canadian retail agencies are succeeding in the u.s. because of the skills attained through doing business in Canada.

Cioffi says competition is so strong in Canada that retail agencies have had to become more strategic than u.s. firms.

Cioffi Associates has an office in Milwaukee. PS