Beer, Film, Parks Haul

JWT L.A. Adds Asahi, Fox, Palace Business
LOS ANGELES–J. Walter Thompson’s Los Angeles office has picked up media duties for Asahi Beer, following a review.
In addition, the shop will assist sister WPP Group agency Asatsu DK, the incumbent and JWT’s new affiliate company, with creative work as well as account planning.
The Asahi account is the latest in a string of new business wins that JWT here has been quietly collecting since it was reestablished as a full-service facility in late 1997.
The agency, which handles 20th Century Fox theatrical spot buying, also recently added print production and buying duties in the New York market for specialty film unit Fox Searchlight without a review.
“We convinced them we were the best people to handle the business,” said Peter Stranger, president of the Los Angeles office. “New York is the key market for them.”
Separately, JWT has won creative and media duties for Palace Entertainment, an Irvine, Calif.-based chain of family entertainment parks in California and Florida. Palace, which operates 16 properties, has signed letters of intent to acquire an additional seven parks, and expand into Texas. The agency won the account after a review, which included two other undisclosed California shops. JWT will develop a branding campaign that will link the parks, Stranger said.
The three recent wins add $17 million in new billings, bringing the total figure for the Los Angeles office to about $130 million. Its other accounts include Bandai America and Saban Entertainment, which encompasses Fox Family Channel and Fox Kids Network.
In addition to the 25 staffers in Los Angeles, the JWT office has a nine-person group in New York that handles Fox Searchlight and some 20th Century Fox duties.