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Advertising agency Bailey Lauerman, which got its start in Lincoln in 1970 and helped put the city on the map in the advertising world, plans to move most of its staff to Omaha.

CEO Andy Fletcher, who was hired in April, said the move will help facilitate the company's growth, as well as provide convenience to out-of-state customers.

"What we find is, with more and more of our client base out of town, they have a tendency to come to the Omaha office," Fletcher said.

One of the big reasons for that is that most people use the Omaha airport rather than the Lincoln one, he said.

"It seems to be the preference (of clients) that we be as convenient as possible," Fletcher said.

As part of the move, all of the creative staff -- artists, designers, copywriters -- as well as account management staff, eventually will migrate to the Omaha office.

Fletcher said a big goal of the move is to have all the creative staff under one roof.

There are about 30 people working in the Omaha office now and about 50 working in the Lincoln office. By 2015, the number working in Lincoln will dwindle to about 10-15 people working in administration and finance.

Fletcher said a handful of people will lose jobs as part of the transition, because of the redundancy of certain positions, but most people will be able to keep their jobs, assuming they are willing to commute or relocate to Omaha.

The company told employees about its plans last week, and Fletcher said the response was mostly positive.

Also as part of the move, the company is making some changes and additions in management, although Fletcher said it was not prepared to announce those changes at this time.

Over the years, Bailey Lauerman has won numerous awards and assembled a stable of top-name clients that includes Union Pacific, Bass Pro Shops, AMC Theaters and Disney.

"They've been a very well-known, highly respected agency," said Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Birdsall.

"Their work is nationally known," she said, "and they will be sorely missed."

Fletcher, however, said the move shouldn't be looked at as the company leaving Lincoln.

"This is what we're doing right now based on our company's structure today," he said. "The goal is not to abandon the community that has helped support this company over the years."

Fletcher said that somewhere down the road, because of growth or a change in plans, the Lincoln office could grow again.

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Reach Matt Olberding at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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