Spokane Journal of Business

Hanna & Associates advertising agency to open Florida office

Hanna starts brand work for supermarket chain, aims for casinos there

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Hanna & Associates Inc., a longtime Coeur d'Alene-based advertising company, plans to open an office in Florida, which it hopes will be a launch point for expanding its services in the Southeast, says Dayne Hanna, president, CEO, and founder of the agency.

While Coeur d'Alene is nearly 3,000 miles away from the Florida market, Hanna says the markets have some similarities.

"Some casinos down there have shown interest in us," Hanna says.

Here, Northern Quest Resort & Casino, in Airway Heights, is Hanna's largest client, with the agency creating Northern Quest's current advertising campaigns, including media placements, he says.

Hanna says the agency's attorneys and accountants are working on setting up the Florida office, which it expects will open as early as this month with at least two employees initially.

"We have some leads down there, but we're still learning the legal aspects, tax laws, and structure for what we need to do," he says.

The agency initially will work with a grocery chain in the Gainesville area, in north Florida. "We're starting to do some branding work for them," Hanna says. The office, though, will be based in Fort Lauderdale, in south Florida, he says.

"The West Palm Beach-Miami-Fort Lauderdale area looks exciting for us," he says. "I think it's an underserved market."

Hanna, a former New Yorker and a 35-year advertising veteran, founded the company in Coeur d'Alene in 1977. It operated as Hanna/Wheeler and Associates Inc. from 1980 to 1990, then it took its current name.

Hanna & Associates occupies 6,500 square feet of space overlooking Lake Coeur d'Alene, at 1090 E. Lakeshore Drive, where it's been located for 20 years.

The agency employs 25 people there.

"Five employees have been here over 20 years, and several have been here over 15 years," he says. "We've got young blood, too, so it's really a good mix."

Two of Hanna's information-technology employees are based in Utah, where they provide computer programming remotely.

Hanna's expertise includes both consumer and business-to-business advertising and marketing.

Its clients include Loop Fly Fishing USA, Sterling Bank, Pita Pit Inc., and Washington State University.

Hanna describes revenues as good, although he says they fell some during the depth of the recession.

Adweek magazine, a prominent advertising trade publication, highlighted Hanna recently among seven other advertising companies around the country in an article about agencies that serve regional markets from small-town locations.

"We're Northwest centered," Hanna says. "We're buying media in four or five states."

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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