Veteran SA ad agency executive going back to his ranch roots
May 22, 2023, 5:19pm CDT
Article by Scott Bailey
Longtime advertising executive Bill West is making a big move back to familiar territory.
After rustling up clients for more than three decades in the advertising industry, including a lengthy run as CEO of the TaylorWest Agency he founded in 1990, Bill West is returning to his familial roots.
West has joined brother Mitch’s West and Swope Ranches, a San Antonio-based brokerage specializing in a variety of rural properties.
For West, it’s a trip home to where it all began.
“I’m going full circle back to my first real job and love — our family cattle business,” West told me.
West, who has launched multiple advertising agencies and worked in key roles with others in the industry, grew up at Rio Vista Farms in West Bexar County alongside his five brothers. After graduating from college, he established West & Company in 1976. The livestock advertising and photography firms counted among its clients McCombs Ranches.
“My first ad agency was in agribusiness because that’s where my contacts and friends were and what I knew best,” West said.
That work led to a more diverse and lucrative advertising career, including the long run with TaylorWest that included several noted clients such as IBC Bank and Valero Energy Corp. and total billings north of $250 million.
But West points out that there has been much change in the advertising business — especially over the last few years.
“It’s not nearly as lucrative or fun as it was for so long,” he said.
West & Swope, launched in 2018, specializes in marketing iconic recreational, sporting, agricultural and luxury ranches. It’s currently marketing rural and waterfront properties and real estate ranging from less than 50 acres to more than 800 acres.
The task at hand is familiar territory for West, who has been involved with several companies throughout his career.
“This will definitely be my last venture,” he said.