DuPont Seeks Relaunch

Image Assignment Could Exceed $50 Mil.
NEW YORK–Reshaped of late by divestitures and acquisitions, E.I. du Pont de Nemours last week invited roster and non-roster shops to vie for a global corporate image assignment. Spending for the international task could exceed $50 million.
DuPont is asking agencies to present a detailed strategy for a five-year communications effort and to offer their own spending recommendations. DuPont brand manager Jamie Murray said no budget has been determined, but sources said the client would not shy away from spending as much as $100 million a year.
Roster shops Saatchi & Saatchi, BBDO Worldwide and Young & Rubicam, along with J. Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather, all New York, met with DuPont executives Friday to be briefed on the pitch. There is “an assumption” that media duties are part of the assignment, said a company representative.
Murray, who will retire in January, and his successor, Carol Gee, are jointly leading the review. A decision is expected by mid-January.
Y&R handles DuPont’s Lycra and Silverstone brands while BBDO handles Stainmaster carpets. Saatchi’s most recent image effort for DuPont was its “Human Elements” campaign, which drew parallels between the body and DuPont products. Murray said the company is not married to its tagline, “Better things for better living,” developed by BBDO in 1935.
Murray said the client wants to “build on what we have” and leverage a list of trademarks that includes Dacron, Teflon and Corian.
DuPont recently spun off oil company Conoco and spent more than $3 billion to acquire various pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.
It spent more than $30 million on all domestic consumer advertising for its various divisions in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting. –with Andrew McMains