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Seagram's Gin Game

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Five months is a long time for a review for a $5 million account. The search for a shop to handle Seagram's Gin, however, is intriguing for other reasons.
A mid-sized New York shop, TBWA Chiat/Day, finds itself competing against other New York shops a fraction of its size, such as The Chisholm-Mingo Group and Rush Media. The review has also unfolded in two acts.
In Act I, TBWA Chiat/Day faced Chisholm-Mingo, a minority-owned agency that has worked for Seagram in the past, sources said. Act II introduced Rush, the ad arm of rap mogul Russell Simmons. (Incumbent Ogilvy & Mather did not participate.) It is unclear whether all three shops remain in contention. The client and agencies either declined comment or could not be reached.
Seagram's Gin, No. 1 in its category, sells well among African-Americans. Sources said the choice was clear: an ethnic agency or a roster shop with a lot of brands (TBWA Chiat/Day handles Absolut and Chivas Regal, among others).
How will the long-running play end? The client expects to write the finale in a few weeks..........................--Andrew McMains