R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. confirmed that it had notified Doe-Anderson that the shop is losing lead agency status on its $35 million Winston account.
"In an ever-changing, increasingly competitive environment, we've decided to move forward and employ a number of ad agencies," said RJR rep resentative Ashley Lay, reading from a prepared statement. "Using multiple agencies … will keep the advertising fresh and keep it relevant to our smokers."
Neither the Louisville, Ky., shop's president, David Wilkins, nor its chief creative director, Jim White, returned calls at press time seeking comment.
New York's Cornerstone Design, a packaging specialist, and Gyro Advertising in Philadelphia have already begun working on Winston assignments. Lay said Doe-Anderson would have the option to con tinue to work on a project basis for the Winston-Salem, N.C., company.
Gyro, which handles RJR's Kamel Menthe and Red Kamel accounts, has handled Winston assignments in the past.
Doe-Anderson won the Winston creative business in a bitterly contested review last spring that pitted White against his former boss, Steve Zades, creative director Mylene Pollock and colleagues at Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C. [Ad week, March 27, 2000].
White, an Ogilvy & Mather veteran who spearheaded Winston's distinctive "No bull" campaign while at LHC, was not able to do as well. In fact, sources said White has long ex pressed misgivings about handling tobacco business.
Last week's developments do not affect Long Haymes Carr. The shop continues to handle media planning and more than $200 million in media buying for all RJR brands.
RJR, with third-quarter 2000 revenue of $2.1 billion and annual income approaching $400 million,is the third-largest producer of tobacco products in the world, trailing only the Philip Morris Corp. and British American Tobacco.