The agency fended off incumbent The Atkins Group in San Antonio and Robles Communications in New York for the trophy.
The account will focus on television and outdoor in addition to print ads in travel trade publications, according to vp/management supervisor John Cerniglia, who was one of the team that pitched the account for J. Walter Thompson/L.A.
The Mazatlan business is the latest sign that the Mexican tourist industry is warming up for bigger campaigns.
Mexican resort destinations in the past raised money for advertising from hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses, typically receiving matching funds from both state and federal agencies. In recent years, however, government funds have dried up. As a result, many tourism councils either stopped or greatly cut back on advertising since 1991. They 'either ended their relationships with the agencies they were with or just went dark,' Cerniglia said.
Cerniglia brings some familiarity for the market, having worked on JWT's campaigns for Mexicana Airlines and resort destination Ixtapa. The Mazatlan account was hard won, Cerniglia said, with three presentations and a final version that incorporated 'refinements' requested by the client. 'It sure seemed like it dragged on,' he added.
A spokesperson for JWT/West, which includes the agency's S.F. and L.A. offices, said the Mazatlan account is a welcome return to Mexican trade. 'It's certainly a key, visible account in Los Angeles,' she said, because (Los Angeles is) a key market for (Mazatlan).'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)