MacGregor’s Bad Lie?

MacGregor Golf has been quietly contacting agencies about its oft-moved advertising account, according to sources.
Currently, the estimated $3 million account is at Fricks/Firestone here. It was awarded the business last September after an extensive review of East Coast agencies.
Agency principal John Fricks said he shared breakfast last Friday morning with the golf club maker’s president and chief executive officer, William Marsh, to discuss the relationship.
“We had a very good meeting,” Fricks said. “If anything happens, I will be totally shocked.”
Marsh did not return calls by press time, but a representative of the Atlanta client said there are no plans to move the account.
Over the past two weeks, however, sources said the client is putting out feelers for its much-traveled account–Fricks/Firestone is MacGregor’s ninth agency in 16 years.
MacGregor is trying to re-establish itself under new ownership as a top quality club maker. Last year, it eliminated the brand’s lower end products to push premium clubs.
In March, Fricks broke print and TV ads tagged “Without passion why bother.” The television work, using a rock jingle and aggressive humor, was considered a radical departure from category advertising by agency observers.
During last year’s search, Campbell McCool, principal of Atlanta’s McCool Communications, which has several golf-related accounts, called MacGregor “a very difficult client for any agency to manage.” He predicted, “They’ll be doing this again in 12 to 18 months.”
McCool had no comment last Friday. K