5-Oops, Make It 4-Contenders Proceed to $10-15 Mil. Finals
BOSTON-Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos' behind-the-scenes maneuver last week to stay alive in EMC Corp.'s $10-15 million review fell short amid confusion and conflicting reports about which shops had advanced to the final round.
The Boston-based agency was not among the finalists named early last week, when consultants with Pile and Co. informed contenders that Arnold Communications in Boston, Bozell Worldwide and Doremus & Co., both in New York, and Think New Ideas in Los Angeles had advanced, sources said.
However, a day later, and after what one source called a "boardroom-level appeal" initiated by agency chairman Jack Connors, a revised list was drawn up and Hill, Holliday was on it.
In the confusion, Bozell-a late entrant in the capabilities phase-was apparently dropped from the field, prompting a successful appeal to EMC from that agency, sources said.
By Wednesday, EMC representative Mark Fredrickson confirmed that the review would move forward with five finalists, only to reverse himself 24 hours later, when he said that after "some reconsideration of their inclusion," Hill, Holliday had been cut.
A Hill, Holliday representative denied that Connors personally appealed to EMC chairman Richard Egan. Fredrickson said he had no personal knowledge of such an appeal, but added: "With EMC you have to win the business the old-fashioned way: You have to earn it."
Pile and Co. president Skip Pile would say only that "the list sort of evolved. It was not the usual" process.
McCann-Erickson and Ammirati Puris Lintas, both New York, withdrew, citing potential conflicts, said sources. Grey Advertising, New York, failed to advance.
The remaining contenders are looking to replace Mullen, Wenham, Mass., which EMC, a leading provider of computer storage systems in Hopkinton, Mass., dismissed last month.