ROSWELL, Ga. – In 1974, Bill Redner and his wife Betty sat down in their kitchen to start a new advertising business.
Forty years and three generations later, Render Ad Service not only survives — it thrives.
Render Ad deals in promotional products and has a catalog of 1 million items that can bear a client’s logo, website and contact number.
From Madison Avenue to the local newspaper, the essence of all advertising is to keep clients in the public’s consciousness.
One of the best ways is to put a logo on coffee cups, apparel, hats, plaques, trophies, calendars – the list is endless. Render provides these as well as other services.
On the website, Render Ad has what it calls its Idea Center that gives customers ideas on what can work best for them to put their name in front of customers and keep it there.
And while Render Ad began in 1974, that wasn’t the beginning of its story.
“My dad was the regional vice president of the company he worked for, but it was bought out by a bigger company, and he had decided he did not like the direction it was going in,” said his son Ron Redner, who is the chief executive officer today.
So literally in his kitchen, the elder Redner plotted the future of the Redner family.
“My mom loved to do crossword puzzles, and she came up the name for the company, Render,” he said. “It was a play on the family name, and it said our company goal, to render a service to our customers.”
In those early days, calendars were a big part of the business. Salesmen sold the order and got their commission. But the calendars sold all year would only be paid for on delivery, usually in December.
“Dad had enough savings and was able to get a loan from the old Roswell Bank. That was paid off in the second year,” Redner said.
While the elder Redner started his company in 1974, he began working in advertising in 1946. So he was able to take many loyal customers when he started his new company. He also brought along loyal sales people as well. This includes Bob Fitzgerald, who became vice president of the company.
When Bill Redner retired in 1996, son Robert took over as CEO. In 2006, he retired, and son Ron became CEO. Grandson Troy Redner, Robert’s son, took up the vice president position when Fitzgerald retired.
“Our brother Rick didn’t stay with the company. But all my brothers and sisters went through that gate before going on to other careers,” he said.
Now, the third generation is stepping up ready to keep Render Ad going forward.
Render Ad is about ideas as much as about products.
Ron Redner won a national award for designing a campaign to introduce Ted Turner’s Cartoon Network to cable execs.
His first idea was a polyester barrel gym bag with each end having a film reel to maintain the shape and filled with cartoon characters and other related items.
Turner rejected that idea because his then-wife Jane Fonda wanted something more eco-friendly.
So Redner came up with the idea incorporating the Road Runner cartoon character of Wile E. Coyote. He would exchange the polyester bag for a wooden box stamped with the iconic “Acme Co.” logo that contained so many of Coyote’s ill-fated gadgets.
The box filled with 100 percent cotton T-shirts and other goodies inside received Fonda’s OK and won Redner his award.
Looking to the future, Redner is banking on their Web store acting as the drop-ship point of contact. That allows for just-in-time inventory and fast delivery.