Stop the presses! Or at least stop that account assignment.
Spiro & Waites Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations received banner news last week after leapfrogging three finalists to land agency of record status with the Bradenton Herald.
According to the 50,000 circulation daily's vice president of marketing, Jim Lamm, the Bradenton, Fla., newspaper's four-month agency search was cut to three Florida contenders: Fry/Hammond/Barr in Orlando, Paradigm Communications of Tampa and Baskerville Swirles & Ward in Sarasota.
Then client advertising vice president Bruce Faulmann saw S&W president and chief creative officer Chris Spiro give an animated presentation to a home building association in Manatee County, Fla. At one point, Spiro took a cell phone call from his wife and had the audience shout a group "Hello!" At another juncture, he waited patiently for a guest to return from the rest room.
Faulmann went up to Spiro after the presentation and said he wanted to talk to the "rogue" Fort Myers, Fla., agency before hiring another shop for the paper's $1 million account. The next day Spiro visited the Herald offices with no prepared presentation or materials, yet still won an opportunity to pitch the account.
On its appointed day, the S&W team, wearing red berets, roared into the Herald with a blitzkrieg "battle plan" against the paper's primary competitor, The Sarasota Herald-Tribune. The presentation featured explosions and Spiro barking like a field general.
"They didn't even know we existed," said Spiro. "Now it's time for us to really start kicking some ass."