Baltimore agency Siquis, based in Mount Washington and in business for 30 years, closed on Jan. 6, the same day the Leffler Agency closed after 33 years in business.
Siquis CEO Anita Kaplan delivered the news to employees on Monday, Jan. 2, citing declining revenue in 2015 and 2016.
Since the announcement, Kaplan has been contacting clients and making arrangements for the closure. Representatives from Bethesda advertising agency RP3 met at the agency on Jan. 4 to discuss the possible transition of accounts.
Siquis is known for accounts such as Simpson Racing, Maryland Transit Administration, and airlines, including Silver Airways and London-based budget carrier Flybe. Siquis had the Maryland Tourism account until June 2016 and in the past worked for Greene Turtle and Strayer University
In December Maryland’s Department of Commerce recognized Siquis’s 30 year anniversary with the Secretary’s Citation, presented to Kaplan by Kate Dailey and Brian Lawrence.
”I am very proud of what we have accomplished during that time,” Kaplan said in a statement appearing in stories by the Baltimore Business Journal and Washington Business Journal. “We have helped numerous companies and entities, both large and small, build their brands and their businesses, we have contributed to the economic development of the State of Maryland, and we have employed and mentored hundreds of people.”
On the same day Siquis was closing, the Baltimore Business Journal was the first to report that the Leffler Agency Inc., a North Charles Street advertising and marketing agency headed by Robert “Bob” Leffler Jr. closed, also citing financial reasons.
According to the BBJ, “CEO Bob Leffler started the company in 1984 after the Baltimore Colts — where he worked in marketing — left town for Indianapolis.
“But Leffler said trying to make a change from 100 percent sports clients three years ago to doing more general advertising and marketing was tougher than anticipated and, at 71 and dealing with health issues, he decided it was time to close shop.”
According to a story in The Sun, Leffler “tried to expand about three years ago from mainly sports-related clients, such as university athletic programs, to a broader range of businesses.”
“We had a good run,” Leffler told The Sun. “We had clients, but we couldn’t make it work,” because the agency had become primarily identified with sports.
“I don’t have another big run in me to try to rebuild this again,” The Sun reported.
Leffler created logos for the Preakness and Super Bowl team branding campaigns for the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It built a sports reputation with clients such as the Naval Academy, Towson University, George Mason University and the University of Delaware, according to The Sun report.
The Sun also quoted Leffler’s views on the changing advertising market, where “clients are really overwhelmed with information about what works and what doesn’t work,” makes it more difficult to retain and attract clients.
“The minute something doesn’t work or a combination doesn’t work, they want to change,” he said. “They panic.”
Photo: Siquis’s Mt. Washington office location via Siquis Facebook page