Two of those believed involved are incumbents D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/Chicago, which had handled the UDIA business; and McCann-Erickson/San Francisco, which handled the Dairy Board business. Also making the first cut are Chicago shops Leo Burnett Co.; J. Walter Thompson; DDB Needham; and Foote, Cone & Belding. Minneapolis-based CMEKHBB; and Austin, Texas-based GSD&M also are in, sources said. One or two others may be involved as well.
Insiders say the list was narrowed from more than 20 agencies originally picked to receive questionnaires. Creative assignments are expected to be given out at the end of the month with another round of cuts expected in early October. The combined units expect to have a decision by Nov. 1.
'It's still going to be a long process,' said one source. 'They still have to make another round of cuts.'
Under an agreement hashed out between the two marketing boards earlier this year, all fluid milk advertising will fall under the jurisdiction of the UDIA, with $50 million allocated to the task. Until now, both operated separately and their efforts sometimes overlapped.
That was one of the complaints of a small but growing group of farmers who already shell out 15 cents for every 100 pounds of milk produced to fund both programs. In fact, one group, known as the 'Dump the Dairy Board' has been able to force a vote among farmers to see if farmers want to get rid of the board. That group is waiting for results of a recent referendum, expected by the end of September.
Both the UDIA and the National Dairy Board announced in May that they would develop a joint business plan for 1994, outlining national marketing programs with local state and regional input.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)