ABC Shopping Project

LOS ANGELES – One new item on ABC Entertainment’s 1998-99 schedule is an agency search for part of the $50 million account handled by TBWA Chiat/Day.
ABC is talking to several West Coast shops about a creative-only assignment for its made-for-TV movies and miniseries in the new season, according to Alison Shaklan, the network’s Los Angeles-based vice president of advertising.
Shaklan said ABC is not planning to review other portions of its account. TBWA C/D will continue to handle ABC’s brand image, prime-time lineup, specials and theatrical movie advertising, and all media duties. The agency has handled ABC through its Venice, Calif., and New York offices since winning a review in April 1997.
ABC is only talking to shops that specialize in movie advertising, said Shaklan, who declined to name the agencies. “We want [advertising] for our movies to look more like theatrical releases,” she said. “We’re looking for a specialist.” The miniseries Cleopatra will be among the featured programs this year.
TBWA C/D is not involved in the search, but will handle the media buying portion of the assignment, said Shaklan. Executives at TBWA C/D declined comment.
A group of ABC Entertainment executives, including executive vice president of marketing Alan Cohen, president Jamie Tarses, chairman Stuart Bloomberg and Shaklan, will choose an agency next month.
TBWA C/D, meanwhile, is preparing to launch next month a new phase in its humorous “TV is good” campaign for ABC. – with staff reports