Gateway Returns to Initiative

NEW YORK Computer maker Gateway has awarded its media buying account to Interpublic Group’s Initiative following a review, sources said.

Aegis Group’s Carat was the incumbent, having won the business from Initiative in 2003.

Gateway’s U.S. media spending has declined significantly in the past few years as the company has struggled to remain competitive in the personal computer market.

In 2004, Gateway spent $110 million on U.S. ads, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Last year, spending dropped to $55 million. In the first half of 2006, the company spent slightly less than $20 million on domestic ads.

It was unclear if the company now plans to increase media spending.

The account shift follows a management change last month, with Ed Coleman signing on as CEO. He had been president of Arrow Electronics’ Enterprise Computing Solutions.

Officials at Gateway, as well as representatives at Initiative and Carat, declined comment.

The company’s creative efforts of late have consisted largely of direct marketing efforts from Culver City, Calif., independent The Woo Agency, and online ads by Carat Interactive in San Francisco.

MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami and Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago are past lead creative agencies on Gateway. CP+B and Gateway split after teaming up for 10 months [Adweek Online, July 26, 2005]. Burnett preceded CP+B on the business.