Gateway Fires DMB&B From $50-70 Mil. Biz

Gateway 2000 last week dismissed lead agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles from its $50-70 million global account, sources said.
The move was made by newly installed president and chief operating officer Jeffrey Weitzen, who joined the company in January and oversees its sales and marketing divisions, sources said. Weitzen replaced president and chief operating officer Richard D. Snyder, who left in July to form a venture capital company.
Weitzen is an 18-year veteran of AT&T, and was most recently executive vice president, business markets division before joining Gateway. While at AT&T, sources said, Weitzen worked closely with McCann, which has been an AT&T roster shop since 1982.
Sources said Weitzen intends to move the account to one of McCann’s offices rather than establish new ties with DMB&B in Los Angeles. Weitzen had not met with any DMB&B executives prior to his dismissing the agency last week, sources said.
North Sioux City, S.D.-based Gateway in March last year tapped DMB&B to handle global creative and media duties for the agency’s Country Store and direct divisions, besting finalist J. Walter Thompson, Chicago. Late last year, sources said, Gateway began working with Leo Burnett, Chicago, on its major accounts division. Burnett recently completed an undisclosed project for that division [Adweek, March 16].
It was unclear at press time whether Gateway’s major accounts division would shift to McCann or continue to be farmed out.
Sources also said that Mark DiMassimo, president of DiMassimo, New York, had teamed with director Henry Cora to produce spots for the client [Adweek, Feb. 2, 1998].
Executives at DMB&B and Gateway did not return calls. McCann executives could not be reached.
–with Teresa Buyikian