Universal Pix Splits

Universal Pictures has awarded its Southeast and Southwest advertising, publicity and promotions accounts to Allied Advertising and Public Relations and Alvin Guggenheim and Associates, respectively.
Los Angeles-based Universal operated an office here, but decided to close it and farm out projects at the end of 1999. Moroch & Associates of Dallas defended the Southwest business.
Combined billings were estimated at $8-10 million.
Allied, based in Boston, will open divisions in Atlanta and South Florida to handle the account. Guggenheim is based in Houston.
The decisions are a double disappointment for Moroch, which was pitching both regional accounts after its January purchase of the Atlanta and Florida entertainment divisions of Moore, Epstein, Moore. Fahlgren’s Atlanta office also sought the client’s business in the Southeast.
Phil Shaps, Universal’s director of co-op advertising, said, “One of my objectives has been to consolidate [our account] . . . to a point where we can place one phone call and have [one] main person take care of many markets in one situation.”
Guggenheim en-hanced its Southwest presence by forming a limited partnership, GG Advertising, with George Gruby Advertising of Oklahoma City. Guggenheim also recently hired a senior Universal Studios executive, Marianne Mitchell, who led the firm’s marketing in Dallas for 18 years.
Allied will serve Universal in Canada, Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, where Bob Arnold will head the account. Marci Miller, formerly with the Universal office, will lead the Atlanta unit.
Moroch did not return calls.