BOSTON-Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos’ maneuvering to stay alive in EMC Corp.’s $10-15 million advertising review last week fell short amid confusion and conflicting reports about which shops had advanced to the final round.
The Boston agency was not among the finalists named early last week, when consultancy Pile and Co. told contenders that Arnold Communications in Boston, Bozell Worldwide and Doremus & Co., both in New York, and Think New Ideas in Los Angeles had advanced, sources said.
A day later, however, and after what one source called a “boardroom-level appeal” by agency chairman Jack Connors, a revised list was drawn up with Hill, Holliday on it.
In the confusion, Bozell-a late entrant in the capabilities phase-was apparently dropped from the field, prompting appeals to the maker of computer memory storage systems from that agency, sources said. Bozell was then reinstated.
By Wednesday, EMC representative Mark Fredrickson confirmed that the review would move forward with five finalists, only to reverse himself 24 hours later, when he said that after “some reconsideration,” Hill, Holliday had been cut.
An agency representative denied that Connors personally appealed to EMC chairman Richard Egan. Fredrickson said he had no knowledge of such an appeal, but added: “With EMC you have to win the business the old fashioned way: You have to earn it.”
Pile and Co. president Skip Pile would say only that “the list sort of evolved. It was not the usual” process of a cut from a specific number of shops to a smaller number.
Ammirati Puris Lintas and McCann-Erickson, both in New York, withdrew, citing potential conflicts, sources said. Grey Advertising in New York failed to advance. The remaining contenders are looking to replace Mullen in Wenham, Mass., which EMC in Hopkinton, Mass., dismissed last month. ƒ