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Dell Victory Gives APL a Lift

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In its biggest account win since a new senior management team took over, Ammirati Puris Lintas has returned to the computer category by nabbing the $80 million Dell Computer home and small business account.
APL's much-needed victory over finalists Bronnercom, Boston, and Temerlin McLain, Irving, Texas, comes nearly 10 months after it lost the $150 million Compaq account. "We invented ourselves to work with clients like this," said Martin Puris, worldwide chief executive. "They are smart, passionate, determined and nice."
Added Jim Allman, the newly minted chairman of APL New York, who arrived midway through the pitch: "To win this business in my first month, it makes my arrival that much sweeter."
The agency pulled out of the Toys 'R' Us review to devote more resources to Dell, sources said. Using six creative teams, APL offered a full range of services, from below the line to digital, although it ended up with only general advertising duties.
Creatively, APL's pitch "emphasizes the special relationship that Dell has with its customers," sources said. The effort, due this summer, will complement BBDO, New York's corporate work, Allman said.
Dell will be led by Compaq veterans Pat Doyle on account management and creative director Robert Reiser. APL may get another Dell task for government and education projects.
The Dell win, the first since Rob Feakins and Roger Bentley took over as co-chief creative officers, is a welcome relief to the shop. Rick Hadala was recently ousted as chairman and CEO, North America, after a stormy six-month tenure. APL also fell short in reviews for Dewars and Kellogg. "This was a huge team effort, and we're really proud of the work," said Feakins.