AKQA Still in Game Show Limbo

Two months after eliminating all but one agency from its $5-7 million review, Game Show Network continues to skirt questions regarding the status of the account.

In early June, AKQA in San Francisco was the lone shop left standing in the review and seemed poised to win it [Adweek, June 11]. But according to Dena Kaplan, svp of marketing at the network, the two companies “remain in conversations.”

Kaplan said she was unable to elaborate on the reasons for the delay. She denied rumors that the account was back in formal review. Asked if budget constraints were responsible, she said, “It’s really a combination of factors.”

One source speculated that the network is re-evaluating its direction under the new leadership of Rich Cronin, president and CEO, before moving forward with a campaign. First it must determine where to put its money—into existing game shows or new content—then work out its ad budget and then begin working with an agency, the source said.

The source also speculated that the ad budget may eventually be less than the $5-7 million that was originally floated.

Meanwhile, AKQA, which last week cut staff in San Francico (see Hotline), can do little more than wait. Matt Haligman, joint chief creative officer, said he believes a final decision is in the works, but declined to make any steadfast predictions. “We had a very good presentation with them,” he said. “But we have been in a holding pattern ever since.”

TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., previously handled the client’s advertising, but the two parted company earlier this year. The agency had created a series of spots in which viewers shouted quiz-show answers at their televisions. The highly acclaimed spots used the tagline “You know, you know.”