MIDWEST AGENCY REPORT CARDS | Adweek MIDWEST AGENCY REPORT CARDS | Adweek
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MIDWEST AGENCY REPORT CARDS

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Bayer Bess Vanderwarker
Financial D
Billings down 2% to $170 million. Lost Boston Market early in the year. Won G. Heileman"s Old Style and Rainier brands. Estimated revenues flat at $17 million.
Creative B+
Good variety in both print and broadcast. Especially effective work for children, with smart use of triathlon idol Chuckie V for electronic games and, of course, Michael Jordan for Gatorade.
Management C
With much of the year spent negotiating a buyout, new business may have suffered from neglect. BBV president Ron Bess already has moved to parent True North"s FCB.
Teacher"s Comments
Slowly, surely, BBV will be absorbed. Helene Curtis business already moved to FCB; Gatorade is expected to follow.
C
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Bernstein-Rein
Financial C+
Billings up 8% to $202 million. The win column includes Bayer Corp. (animal health division), Shoney"s and CarChoice. Revenues up 9% to $24 million.
Creative C+
TV shows signs of life with fun work for new client CarChoice; Wal-Mart stays folksy, which the client prefers. Print is less impressive.
Management C-
Failed effort to win back Blockbuster Video was draining to the agency. Impending loss of H&R Block means management needs a big win to reinvigorate staff.
Teacher"s Comments
Having Wal-Mart isn"t enough. Agency needs to reestablish its claim to national status. Perhaps CarChoice will be the ticket.
C
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Carmichael Lynch
Financial B
Billings up 11% to $145 million with big wins of National Car Rental, PictureTel and Johnson Worldwide Associates. Revenues up 12% to $20 million.
Creative A-
Print is still its strongest suit, with clever copy and beautiful art direction. Korbel work shows it can do simple,
funny TV as well.
Management B+
Agency president Jack Supple shed some accounts to make room for bigger players in similar categories. New business front was quiet until late 1995 and early 1996 when the agency was on a tear.
Teacher"s Comments
With National Car Rental and Sam Adams accounts, agency"s work will be seen on a national stage.
B+
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Cramer-Krasselt
Financial B+
Combined office billings up 20% to $210 million, reflecting seven new accounts. Only loss was Kuppenheimer"s men"s clothing. Revenues up 20% to $33 million.
Creative B+
Clever and on target, even for non-sexy items such as plumbing fixtures and insurance. Nothing flashy, but never lacking a specific message.
Management A
With seven new clients in "95, execs are nothing if not top salesmen, backed by solid product. Cramer-Krasselt blends creative and strategic thinking on limited budgets better than most.
Teacher"s Comments
Loss of Brunswick Corp."s Mercury Marine account after just three months was a rare setback. Mid-size philosophy appears to be working.
A-
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Fallon McElligott
Financial B+
Billings up 17% to $269 million, revenues up 21% to $36 million, reflecting the addition of BMW, Ameritech long-distance and others. Philips Consumer Electronics lost to global consolidation.
Creative B+
Still tough to beat. BMW work started slowly but is improving. Ameritech work was fun; creative for megaclients Coca-Cola and McDonald"s should be acid test .
Management A-
Pat Fallon finally got his office in the Big Apple, hooking up with Andy Berlin. Landing the "Arch Deluxe" project from McDonald"s alone is worth top marks.
Teacher"s Comments
Transformation complete from a Midwest hot shop to a national powerhouse. Will Fallon"s need for an international network lead to a merger?
B+
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HMS Partners
Financial A-
Billings up 32% to $146 million as network expands to include HMS/McFarland & Drier in Miami and HMS/Ruhr in Minneapolis. Revenues up an estimated 32% to $22 million.
Creative C
Creative needs work, but HMS knows it. Creative chief Steve Fechtor has the cds at various offices collaborating to get the best thinking possible. It"s getting there.
Management A
HMS is gambling on expansion and true sharing of staff, resources and clients among its offices.
Teacher"s Comments
If creative improves and HMS/Ruhr can hang on to the Target business, this agency is on its way to becoming a very competitive multi-regional shop.
B
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Martin/Williams
Financial B+
Billings up 23% to $185 million, revenues up 31% to $26 million, reflecting additions of Coleman and CompuServe. Shoney"s, Mariner and Carlise Plastics all took a hike.
Creative A-
Continues to set quality standards for print and retail broadcast. Work for Dayton Hudson department stores and Target Stores is always good.
Management B
Got a lot of national notice winning CompuServe, although it slipped away six months later. Management has proven to be focused and resilient.
Teacher"s Comments
Agency has shown it can win national pitches. Retention rate a headache.
B+
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Meldrum & Fewsmith
Financial C
Billings inched up 1% to $126 million. Revenues stuck at $19 million. Still, agency claims most revenues per employee in the region. Lost Rally"s and Cub Cadet tractors; added Rubbermaid and tire maker Continental General.
Creative C+
Work for Rock "n" Roll Hall of Fame shows it can be hip when allowed, but campaigns for more conventional accounts like Mr. Coffee and University Hospitals are more workmanlike.
Management B
Chairman Chris Perry seems to be settling the agency down after a few unsteady years.
Teacher"s Comments
With $10-12 million Rubbermaid assignment, Meldrum & Fewsmith gets chance to show what it can do with a national consumer brand.
C+
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Ross Roy
Financial C
Billings down 3% to $448 million. The agency lost its $75-million-plus showpiece, Kmart, but added business from Chrysler Corp., NordicTrack and others. Revenues up 8% to $65 million.
Creative C+
Never a flashy broadcast agency. Well-crafted collateral material for Chrysler shows off Ross Roy"s below-the-line skills.
Management B
Chairman Peter Mills had several eager suitors lined up at the door before choosing Omnicom as a parent. Ross Roy needed help and direction and should get both.
Teacher"s Comments
The Kmart loss was a setback, but with Omnicom"s aid, Ross Roy should continue to rebuild.
C+
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Tatham Euro RSCG
Financial C+
Billings rose 6% to $365 million, reflecting win of Hardee"s and Everen Securities, new assignments from existing clients, and loss of Bakers Square. Revenues also up 6% to $35 million.
Creative C+
Characters from TV sitcom Coach pitching Hardee"s fell flat. Solid but not great work for Huffy bikes and P&G"s Coast.
Management B-
Loss of president Ian Miller, who feuded with Euro RSCG, hurt. Chairman Ralph Rydholm has brought in more P&G billings, but Euro vice chairman Steve Dworin may want to change leadership.
Teacher"s Comments
Hardee"s could bolt and Dworin may exert more control. Agency must be prepared to overcome any such turbulence.
C+
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W.B. Doner & Co.
Financial B
Billings jumped 21% to $291 million on the strength of new assignments from Coca-Cola, Lowes (media) and more. Revenues rose 26% to $30 million.
Creative C+
Its Coca-Cola work was good--and was used globally--but wasn"t dazzling. It manages to give all its retail clients solid, different creative.
Management B-
Alan Kalter takes ceo title, establishing Detroit as agency"s hub. He"s already making structural changes; the agency"s turnover in clients remains high.
Teacher"s Comments
Doner never saw an account it didn"t want, and its batting average is high. But clients often go under or go elsewhere. Agency has chance to really deliver for Coke and boost its creative reputation.
B-
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Wyse Advertising
Financial C-
Billings flat at $141 million, while revenues dipped 2% to $17 million. Uniroyal Tires and PPG Paints left; other new business took up the slack.
Creative C
Agency work can be upbeat for Applebee"s dinnerhouses, serious for Cleveland Clinic. Problem: not consistently inventive.
Management B
Chairman/ceo Marc Wyse"s long career is winding down. The agency is Cleveland"s biggest and a strong regional player. Questions about who will run the agency in the future need to be answered soon.
Teacher"s Comments
Memo to Wyse: Find an acquisition or merger partner and get on with the job of strengthening creative product.
C
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