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Winkler Reverses Billings Slide

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Shop Snags Sony Electronics' HiFD, Branches Out With RenoAir
SAN FRANCISCO--Winkler Advertising is on the comeback trail. Less than two months after losing approximately $20 million in business and laying off at least 12 members of its staff, the shop picked up two new accounts worth a combined $30 million in the space of a week.
Early last week, Winkler won a $20 million project from existing client Sony Electronics to launch its "HiFD" high-capacity computer data storage product. The brief agency review also included Suissa Miller Advertising, Los Angeles; The Harrington Group, Morristown, N.J.; and Interfocus, a London-based marketing unit of Lowe & Partners, U.K.
"We were so ready and wired for the HiFD pitch," said Pat Marcoccia, Winkler's vice president and creative director. "We showed Sony a great [speculative] creative campaign, which reaffirmed our depth as an agency."
Winkler will launch a branding campaign by late summer, including print and possibly TV work, Marcoccia said. The shop's task is to "make Sony HiFD the standard [in its category], versus competitors such as Imation, Syquest and Iomega," he said.
Winkler also handles advertising for Sony's Computer Components and Peripherals Group in San Jose, Calif.
Separately, Winkler recently won the $10 million account of RenoAir, without a review [Adweek, June 1]. The Reno, Nev.-based airline, the 11th largest in the U.S., previously handled most advertising in-house. The client approached the shop "after seeing and liking work we had done in the past," according to agency president Agnieszka Winkler.
The agency will launch a print and broadcast branding campaign for the airline later this year.
RenoAir has hubs in Reno and San Jose and flies primarily in the Western states.
The RenoAir win reflects efforts by the agency, which primarily services tech-oriented clients, to "broaden its scope in the consumer arena," Winkler said.
"What we've learned from working with technology clients has given us a new understanding of the changing consumer, changing media choices and changing business models. This is a unique advantage for all of our clients," said Winkler.
The shop is also pitching the account of Level 3 Communications, Omaha, Neb. The telecommunication company's business is estimated to be worth at least $30 million. The other contenders are DDB Needham, Dallas; and Leo Burnett, Chicago.