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Dailey's Back on Course With MacGregor

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LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group's Dailey & Associates was awarded the MacGregor Golf advertising account after an informal review, the agency said this week.

New creative work, including television, print, online and collateral, is expected to break before January 2006.

The brand was facing some "unique challenges in the marketplace," said Julie Davis, vice president of marketing for the San Diego- and San Francisco-based client. MacGregor "came a long way" with its incumbent agency, Chicago independent Magnani Continuum, she said. "But we were ready to take it to another level."

Davis said that the 108-year-old golf equipment and apparel company had considered three shops before selecting Dailey earlier this month; she did not reveal additional review details.

A representative for Dailey said new work would initially incorporate MacGregor's current tagline, "It's all about passion," introduced by Magnani in January. Some efforts, he said, would also take advantage of the client's three established Professional Golf Association endorsers: British Open champion Greg Norman, Masters winner Jose Maria Olazabal and Australian Open champ Aaron Baddeley.

"We're excited," Davis said of the MacGregor-Dailey partnership. She noted that some of the West Hollywood, Calif., agency's "areas of focus" would include "creative, digital, PR and strategic thinking" on behalf of the client's equipment offerings.

Dailey's prior experience in the category includes more than eight years representing Callaway Golf, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., the rep said. The shop's relationship with that client ended in 2004.

The second-oldest golf-accessory manufacturer in the U.S., by the early 1990s, MacGregor's market share had begun to slip from its 1940s-'60s peak. Since being purchased in 1998 by current company chairman Barry Schneider, the brand has made significant attempts to recapture its mid-century luster.

New advertising, according to both Dailey and the client, would highlight MacGregor's superior innovation and craftsmanship, advanced technology and overall image as premium brand.

"What this will feel like to the consumer is an extension," Schneider said of the upcoming efforts. He said the work would be "elegant and consistent" with earlier MacGregor creative, as well as strengthened by Dailey's "superior understanding of world-calss brands."

An advertising budget was not disclosed. MacGregor spent $12 million on ads in 2004, more than double its 2002 spend, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The client handles media internally.