Financial Client Splits With G&R, Scales Back Budget
NEW YORK–Mutual fund provider
Dreyfus Corp. is looking for an ad agency again, just six months after hiring Grace & Rothschild following a lengthy review.
The client and G&R here parted ways last month after the agency developed, but never produced, any advertising.
The relationship got off to a rocky start when the marketing chief who hired the agency, David Sheehan, left shortly after G&R won the business in September, sources said.
Genie Agins, svp/director of corporate communications, has absorbed Sheehan’s responsibilities. Agins, who could not be reached for comment, will be involved in selecting a new shop, sources said.
Agency executives have griped over a lack of direction from the client and a dwindling commitment to advertising.
Dreyfus’ advertising ambitions have been scaled back since 1997, when it spent $20 million on ads, according to Competitive Media Reporting. When G&R won the business last year, the client told agencies its annual budget would be $20-30 million [Adweek, Sept. 21]. Dreyfus spent $12 million last year, but is now billing the account as a $5-10 million piece of business. The client also appears to be limiting its search to New York shops.
G&R, which handled both creative and media duties, declined comment.
Last year’s review, which began in April with 83 initial inquiries by agencies, was narrowed to New York shops Angotti, Thomas, Hedge; Ammirati Puris Lintas; and Partners & Shevack before APL withdrew due to a potential conflict with Aetna. At the time, Grace & Rothschild–an earlier contender–was reinstated [Adweek, July 20, 1998].
Dreyfus manages more than 150 mutual funds with over $110 billion in assets and has introduced more than a dozen new funds since 1995. Its chief rivals are Fidelity Investments, The Vanguard Group and Scudder Kemper Investments.