Hill Enlists Heater for Fidelity

Faced with losing the estimated $120 million mutual funds business of Fidelity Investments, Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos appears to have found its savior in an old friend: Bill Heater.
Heater, a copywriter and the Boston agency’s premier creative star in the 1980s and early 90s, was recently invited by his former employers to pitch creative concepts to Fidelity management.
The account has been shaky at Hill, Holliday for months. Client and agency have had difficulty agreeing on creative strategies, and potential conflicts– John Hancock Financial Services, Fleet Bank and Smith Barney–have driven tensions almost to the breaking point, sources have said [Adweek, May 22].
Several weeks ago, Fidelity was primed to put Hill, Holliday on notice, sources said. The client reconsidered only after being assured that work for Smith Barney had been completed and Heater was brought in to present branding concepts that may be incorporated into upcoming national campaigns, sources said.
Heater, who since 1993 has run an eponymous brand consulting firm in Boston, did not return calls. Hill, Holliday representative Eric Fehrnstrom confirmed that Heater presented creative to Fidelity, but he strongly refuted the suggestion that Heater “saved” the client-agency relationship. Sources close to the situation said Heater’s efforts were essential. Executives with Boston-based Fidelity did not return calls by press time.
Recent Fidelity efforts from Hill, Holliday have been tagged “We help you invest responsibly” and feature financial guru Peter Lynch. K