Waring & LaRosa, Kresser/Craig are bicoastal team chasing Audi

Waring & LaRosa here has linked with Kresser/Craig of Santa Monica, Calif., to pitch the $25-30-milliou Audi of America account, making W&L the second East Coast shop in two weeks to be looking West for an alliance aimed at pursuing auto business.
If the deal sticks, it would be one of the few instances where two independent shops pitched a major account together. The agreement to merge is conditional on winning the account, sources said.
The pitch, said one source, calls for W&L to handle national advertising, and K/C to handle Audi dealers. A similar arrangement between two WPP shops, Scali, McCabe, Sloves and The Martin Agency, netted that duo the Mercedes-Benz account last year. The K/C-W&L alliance, though, likely also involves Western International Media, Los Angeles, which already buys media for both agencies.
W&L received a questionnaire along with several other shops. But its size–$80 million–and inexperience in the car business would otherwise make it a long shot against other Audi contenders Ammirati & Puris and Fallon McElligott. K/C handled Daihatsu America’s $15-18million account for four years before the automaker withdrew from the U.S. in 1991. Since then, the agency’s moved to enhance its auto credentials in hopes of replacing that lost business with another auto account. Terry Foutz, the former Nissan Motor Corp. national ad manager and Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos account manager for Infiniti who also worked on Daihatsu at K/C, rejoined the agency 14 months ago. And last year, K/C hired creative director Dan Mountain, another Infiniti/HHCC vet.
Until recently, W-L’s in-house automotive maven was Jim Dragoumis, who worked on Subaru at Levine, Huntley, Schmidt and Beaver, and on Lincoln-Mercury in the ’70s. Dragoumis, who was in charge of media, marketing services and new business, though, is in the process of leaving the shop.
Executives at the two ad agencies would not confirm the proposed alliance.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)