Crispin, Carat in Line for $40 Mil. Gateway Business

CHICAGO Gateway is expected to name MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Aegis Group’s Carat to work on its creative and media accounts, according to sources. Estimated billings are $40 million.

A Gateway representative said, “Until we have officially selected a new agency of record, we will not comment on the selection process. We can confirm that we are in negotiations with potential partners, but will not comment further until an agreement has been finalized.”

Officials at CP+B in Miami declined comment. Executives at Carat in Los Angeles were unavailable for comment.

The Irvine, Calif.-based computer maker began contacting agencies in July under the direction of Cathy Stauffer, who joined the company in May as senior vice president of marketing. The business had been divided between Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago, which handles consumer chores, and Grey Global Group’s Grey in New York, which works on business-to-business efforts.

Media is handled by Publicis’ StarLink in Chicago. All of those agencies were invited to defend, though Burnett relegated its defense to below-the-line sibling Arc.

Gateway earlier this year merged with discount computer concern eMachines, with the latter’s management taking charge of the merged entity. The company is expected to adopt a marketing strategy similar to eMachines, which relied heavily on product placement in Sunday circulars from electronics retailers.

—with Gregory Solman