SAN FRANCISCO – The $6-million Aqua Vie Beverage account has evaporated into a $190,000 liability for Goldberg Moser O’Neill here. The ad agency has filed suit against the new age water company charging it with breach of contract.
Julia Burks, office manager for Aqua Vie, characterized the action as a ‘bogus suit. We’re not concerned,’ she said. ‘It’s just a breakdown in communications. We’re a young company moving toward a national ad campaign. We were just exploring who had what to offer and we just determined that GMO, while we think it is a great ad agency, wasn’t what we needed.’
In the suit filed in S.F. County Superior Court, GMO seeks a total of $190,576.04 for services, research, data, creative development and termination fees, as well as legal fees for ‘failure to pay amounts owing under advertising agency agreement,’ the suit reads.
GMO officials said they would not comment on the pending litigation. A source close to the agency said GMO got a go-ahead to produce work it prepared for Aqua Vie, but that work was later rejected.
At Aqua Vie, Burks referred additional questions to chairman and ceo Thomas J. Gillespie. He was travelling last week and did not return phone calls.
Ketchum, Idaho-based Aqua Vie is also embroiled in a legal battle with the S.F. office of Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific, which filed suit in the fifth judicial district of Idaho alleging that Aqua Vie breached a contract when it failed to pay $65,153.81 for design work in 1991.
Officials at Saatchi declined comment last week.
Last month, Aqua Vie filed a counterclaim against Saatchi, disputing the allegations and seeking a dismissal.
GMO won the Aqua Vie account in a competition with eight other agencies including Wieden & Kennedy/Portland, Ore., in February.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)