NEW YORK-Two agency reviews, in which accounts worth a total of $10-13 million were at stake, have been called off, representatives of both clients said last week.
Bowling Green, Ky.-based Gitano Fashions and Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based LG Electronics USA both said they were ending their reviews.
In addition, LG Electronics USA's parent company, Korean conglomerate LG Group, has frozen its estimated $20 million corporate image account, currently at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, until the economic situation in Korea has stabilized, according to a DMB&B representative. The company's 1998 campaign has been postponed indefinitely, and the agency was uncertain at press time whether the client's current media buys would be pulled.
In the case of LG Electronics, however, Daniel Lee, the client's national advertising manager, said economic woes in Korea were not a factor. "We're kind of a sales subsidiary," Lee said. "It has not impacted us."
Lee said that the client was considering three shops when the review was halted. Giacalone & Wood of Hopatcong, N.J., is the incumbent and a contender [Adweek, Dec. 15, 1997]. Lee declined to identify the other agencies. "We're working on things internally," Lee said, adding that the company may become more active in the second half of the year.
Dirk Herrman, vice president of brand marketing at Gitano's parent company, Fruit of the Loom, said the Gitano search was stopped due to "a change in corporate priorities." About 15 agencies had been contacted for the review, Herrman said. Among those shops were Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Blum/Herbstreith, Grybauskas Beatrice and Dweck & Campbell, all in New York, said sources.
"We felt it was not going to be a prudent use of resources and efforts to get another agency up and running," Herrman said. Instead, Gitano will use Warwick Baker O'Neill in New York on a project basis. Warwick Baker recently won Fruit of the Loom's $25 million ad account.
Mullen of Wenham, Mass., resigned the Gitano account last month. -with Sloane Lucas