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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Ad firm executive leaving top post

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Jack Bates, board chairman and chief executive officer of Starr Seigle Communications, will step down as head of Hawai'i's largest advertising and marketing company Aug. 1 but will retain a seat on the board, a company office and select clients.

Bates' move comes amid a company restructuring, said company spokesman Jim Boersema.

No successor has been named, Boersema said.

In March, Hawaiian Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection while owing Starr Seigle somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. Boersema said he does not know the exact amount, and Bates declined to be interviewed.

"When the Hawaiian Airlines thing went bad in March, he said he'd stay on until the situation resolves itself," Boersema said. "The financial situation that was created in part by the Hawaiian Airlines bankruptcy is starting to resolve itself to our satisfaction."

Since Hawaiian's bankruptcy filing, rumors have persisted that Starr Seigle was going to be sold or otherwise folded into Communications Pacific, Hawai'i's largest public relations company. Officials from both companies continued to deny the rumors yesterday.

"We are currently not involved in any discussions about acquiring Starr Seigle," said Al Hoffman, president of Communications Pacific, in a statement.

Bates, 63, was with the Starr McCombs Koch advertising firm when it merged in 1983 with Seigle Rolfs & Wood, creating the Islands' biggest advertising company. Bates became head of the combined company's advertising side and was named CEO in 1999 when Jack Seigle retired.

Starr Seigle Communications generates $60 million per year in billings from its four entities: Starr Seigle Advertising, StarrPR, the Starrtech Interactive Internet company and Q-Mark Research and Polling. Starr Seigle Advertising generates 60 percent of the company's business, Boersema said.