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Improving economy boosts demand for advertising, marketing firms [The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn. :: ]
[April 24, 2014]

Improving economy boosts demand for advertising, marketing firms [The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn. :: ]

(Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 24--The Tombras Group continues to hold firm to the No. 1 spot on the Book of Lists' ranking of Knoxville-area advertising and marketing agencies ranked by billings.

However, this year's ranking shows some fierce competition among other agencies on the list.

Tombras, based in Knoxville with six offices across the country, reported $100 million in 2013 gross billings, more than the rest of the agencies on the list combined.

Holding onto the No. 2 spot is Media Directions Advertising with $5.7 million in gross billings. The firm's client list includes ORNL Federal Credit Union and Covenant Health.

Positions on the rest of the list shuffled considerably from last year.

Digital marketing firm Pyxl continued its rise up the ranks, moving to No. 3 up two spots from last year. The firm offers advertising and public relations services, but the majority of its work involves digital communications, including website development and custom apps. The firm last month opened an office in Boulder, Colo. The Boulder office is being managed by Lynsay Russell formerly of Knoxville.

The biggest jump on the list comes from The Bingham Group, which moved up six spots to No. 4. The firm increased billings more than $2 million in the past year. The firm won four contracts from the state of Tennessee and is trying for a fifth later this week, said Linda Meyers, the firm's creative director of media and special events. It has also added media purchasing to its services, which accounted for some of the billings increase.

"The firm signed a $9 million contract with the state in September and since then we've gotten a couple others, Tobacco Awareness and Homeland Security," said Lisa Bingham, the firm's president.

The homeland security contract is a $1.7 million 5-year campaign related to the production of meth in Tennessee. It will focus on new laws that mean parents producing meth could lose custody of their children, according to Meyers.

Down one spot to No. 5 is Internet Marketing Expert Group. Despite the drop, the firm increased billings by $500,000 over the past year and added staff at its four area offices.

JAOPRO and Hardcore Creative Group are new to the list, while Brandthinq is the new incarnation of Marc Taylor Creative.

For information on these and other Knoxville-area advertising and marketing firms, visit

___ (c)2014 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) Visit the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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