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Mack Trucks Favors Baltimore, D.C. Agencies

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WASHINGTON, D.C.-Mack Trucks, which is in the midst of a review for its $1-3 million account, is targeting shops in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area.
Sources said that the Allentown, Pa.-based client did not send out a request for proposals, but is talking to agencies along the East Coast and mid-Atlantic region.
Client executive vice president of sales and marketing Paul Vikner said late last week that 10 agencies were selected from the 80 shops originally contacted. Mack Trucks, Vikner added, is two months away from making a decision. He said that proximity will be an issue in the selection.
Five-year incumbent Carmichael Lynch of Minneapolis resigned the business in June, when it drove away with the Volvo GM Heavy Truck Corp. account.
Mack wants an agency with business advertising experience and a solid strategic reputation, said Vikner. Sources also said that the client is looking at shops with billings of $100 million and less because it does not want to work with a big agency.
"The focus for us is we're looking for a company with business-to-business experience familiar with trade publications that can also make a strong creative contribution to a company that's bringing out new products," Vikner said.
Carmichael Lynch won the Mack Trucks account in 1992 but dropped it in favor of Volvo GM, in part, because of the agency's connection to Mark Gustafson, Volvo GM's president and chief executive officer. Gustafson, who had been Mack's executive vice president of sales and marketing, was instrumental in Carmichael's selection.
Carmichael Lynch helped restore luster to the Mack Trucks brand name in the early 1990s, when the company had financial difficulties, Vikner said.
The client does not employ a tagline, but occasionally uses the phrase, "Built like a Mack Truck" in its advertising.