Though the laptop marketer had not yet made a decision on an agency to replace its two-year incumbent at press time, it appears that the contest is down to two finalists: Poppe Tyson/L.A. and Drew Advertising/Santa Monica, Calif., according to sources close to the review.
Poppe Tyson vp and general manager in L.A., Dick Lockman said that he had not heard further from Toshiba since making two presentations. Douglas Drew, Drew's principal, had no comment.
Chiat/Day, which landed on the hot seat following a change in Toshiba's senior management, seemed to have rebounded about two weeks ago, when agency and client said there would be no change in their relationship. But that decision was reversed last week.
Chiat/Day president Bob Kuperman said in a press release that 'a recent decision by Toshiba to pursue a more promotion focused advertising approach, along with a need to reduce costs in regard to agency compensation, made it clear it would be in both parties best interest to terminate our association.'
Executives at Toshiba did not return phone calls.
Sources said a second round of presentations took Chiat/Day out of the running. The race, which also included Lord, Dentsu & Partners/L.A. and dGWB in Irvine, Calif., is believed to have been heavily influenced by Toshiba's Japanese management, which has taken a larger role in the U.S. operation. 'The Japanese electronics business has gone into the toilet,' said Steward Alsop, editor-in-chief of InfoWorld, an industry publication based in San Mateo, Calif. 'It's in the context of Japan worldwide, and I would say Toshiba here isn't being given any leeway.'
Though Toshiba holds a strong position in laptops, it's under 'enormous pricing pressure' at home, Alsop said. 'The overall environment Toshiba is operating in is not one where their parent is saying, 'Go spend money freely.' '
Initially some believed that Toshiba was looking for a bargaining chip to renegotiate its compensation arrangement with Chiat/Day.
But the highly secretive review, earlier described by Howard Emerson, Toshiba director of marketing communications, as 'an educational exercise,' turned into a creative shootout with formal presentations.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)