LOS ANGELES-Apple Computer has contacted at least a dozen shops nationwide to participate in a review for its $80-90 million U.S. advertising account, sources said.
Twelve-year incumbent BBDO West here resigned the account last week after Apple executives informed the agency of the review.
Among the shops approached, said sources, are TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif.; Arnold Communications, Boston; Dailey & Associates and McCann-Erickson, both in Los Angeles; Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis; Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco; Young & Rubicam, New York and San Francisco; and Merkley Newman Harty, New York.
Agency executives either denied involvement or would not comment.
McCann has an Apple conflict. The agency handles Microsoft overseas with Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, Ore. Also, McCann's affiliate Anderson & Lembke in San Francisco works with Microsoft domestically. Apple reportedly removed McCann from its list when it learned of the conflict.
Apple is conducting the review via McBride & Associates, a Modesto, Calif.-based consulting company. Principal Jack McBride is reportedly in the process of issuing questionnaires to the shops. He declined comment.
After the letters are reviewed, the list will be cut to five or six shops to meet with the client during the weeks of July 7 and 14. The list will then be trimmed to two or three agencies to receive a creative and/or strategic assignment, sources said.
David Roman, vice president of advertising and brand communications at Apple, said the client wants an agency that is conflict-free, very creative and large enough to handle the account without changing its staff dramatically. Apple prefers not to work with more than one agency, he said.
At BBDO, where employees felt "relief and pride," one executive said, the possibility of layoffs was under consideration.