By Jane Irene Kelly and Aaron Baar
Goldberg Moser O'Neill Resigns the Business After Ad Spending Drops Below $1 Mil.
SAN FRANCISCO--Rollerblade and Goldberg Moser O'Neill are parting ways. Sources said the nation's largest in-line skates marketer plans to hire a number of smaller shops to handle creative projects.
The agency and client confirmed they will split once GMO's contract expires by year's end.
Fred Goldberg, chief executive officer of GMO here, said the agency is walking away due to dwindling ad spending. "When we were hired for this job, the account was estimated to be worth $10 million," said Goldberg. "Our budget for this year was more like $800,000."
George Steele, Rollerblade's senior director of marketing communications, said the client and agency are "going in different directions." "We are returning to more grass roots and local promotions," he said.
Steele would not comment on who will create ads for the company or place media, also handled by GMO.
GMO won the account in 1996, following a review.
Rollerblade spent $4 million on advertising in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting. For the first nine months of 1997, less than $1 million was allocated for advertising.
Rollerblade has aired only one TV spot by GMO, a futuristic, Mad Max-with-in-line-skates affair tagged "Stay tuned."
Rollerblade, owned by Benetton SPA, is the category leader, although 1996 wholesale sales slipped 30 percent from 1995, according to Sports Market Research Group.