WASHINGTON, D.C.-W.B. Doner's streak of direct response account wins has been interrupted by a stinging loss, as officials with Stroh Brewery Co. made the decision to move their media buying to SFM Media in New York.
Doner chief executive officer Allen Kalter confirmed the loss. He added that the Baltimore agency was not surprised by the client's decision to move its media business to SFM.
"They told us our handling of the media was an interim step," Kalter said last week.
Media expenditures for Stroh were about $11 million in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
On the plus side, Doner is in no danger of losing Stroh's creative business, according to the client.
"This gives Doner a chance to focus purely on what they do best-the creative side-and SFM to focus on the media and the synergies and the buying power of a combined brand portfolio," said Lacey Logan, a representative for Stroh Brewery Co., last week.
Stroh's media business had previously been at several agencies. Hal Riney & Partners in San Francisco handled both creative and media buying for the Stroh brands before the account was moved to Doner's other office in Southfield, Mich., earlier this spring. Doner's Baltimore operation had been the agency of record for G. Heileman Brewing Co., which was acquired by Stroh in August 1996.
Doner's Baltimore office is responsible for the Heileman brands and the Southfield office handles most of the other Stroh products, according to agency officials.
The agency's recent account wins include the $5 million National Credit Counseling Service, the $5-7 million Sylvan Learning Centers and two more pieces of the $2 million United States Mint business, among others.