Y&R Set To Win $20 Mil. MGM Grand Account

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino is on the verge of awarding its estimated $20 million account to Young & Rubicam here following a review, according to sources. Y&R competed for the creative and media account against Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles.
Executives with the client confirmed late last week they had selected an agency of record, but said they were not prepared to announce the winner. Executives with Y&R and Saatchi declined to comment.
Sources said Y&R’s selection had received the “blessing” of MGM Grand’s top management, but the agency was also asked to make a final presentation to J. Terrance Lanni, the hotel/casino’s chairman and chief executive officer, last Thursday.
If MGM officially taps Y&R this week as expected, the agency will be responsible for creating “global advertising” for the immense Las Vegas property, said sources. The MGM Grand, themed after the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz, has more than 5,000 rooms, as well as a casino, amusement park, 11 restaurants and a 16,000-seat arena used for boxing and other events.
The client’s newly constructed, 380,000-square-foot conference center will also be a “focal point” in future advertising, said sources, in an effort to make the property “one of the premiere conference facilities in the world.”
MGM Grand put its account into review earlier this year after incumbent DRGM, Las Vegas, resigned the business. The agency had picked up creative and media duties for Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino [Adweek, March 9]. That property, which is owned by Circus Circus Enterprises, will open in 1999.
Asher&Partners’ Las Vegas office, which handles advertising for sister property New York, New York, took over MGM Grand’s account while the client conducted the search. The agency, however, did not participate in the MGM Grand review, due to conflicts.