Universal Goes West

The theme park division of Universal Studios bypassed The Richards Group to award davidandgoliath the creative portion of its $30-40 million account.

New creative will be aimed at generating attendance for two attractions at the client’s park in Orlando Fla.: Universal Studios and Island of Adventure.

The 2-year-old Los Angeles agency edged Richards of Dallas, which had made the finals after the other contenders were eliminated earlier this month.

“It was their creative,” said Jim Yeager, senior vice president of public relations for Universal’s Recreation Group when asked about the selection. “We were excited by the creative they presented and their high energy.”

Yeager, who would not comment on the budget, said he was uncertain when the first advertising would break. Principals at davidandgoliath were unavailable for comment.

In addition to Richards, other agencies vying for the theme park business were: Doner of Southfield, Mich.; McKinney & Silver of Raleigh, N.C.; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; and Deutsch in New York. The incumbent, MessnerVetere Berger McNamee Schmet-terer/Euro RSCG in New York, did not participate in the review.

DDB Entertainment of Los Angeles will continue to handle the media portion of the account.

The appointment of a new agency comes less than a year after Universal’s chief marketing officer, Wyman Roberts, arrived from Darden Restaurants, where he led marketing for Red Lobster.