3 Southeast Shops Make Aruba Tourism Finals

Fitzgerald, Martin, Avanti Plus Compete Against New York Agency
ATLANTA–Three Southeast agencies and one shop headquartered New York have been designated finalists for the estimated $7-10 million advertising account of the Aruba Tourism Authority.
The four contenders are the incumbent agency, Fitzgerald & Co. in Atlanta; The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va.; Avanti Plus (the in-house advertising division of Miami-based Avanti/Case-Hoyt); and Grace & Rothschild, New York.
All agency presentations, sources said, would conclude early this week. A decision from the client is expected to follow, possibly as soon as week’s end.
The review is being conducted by Pile & Co. in Boston, which confirmed earlier this year that the account was in play [Adweek, Jan. 11]. Officials at Pile did not return calls last week to confirm the final four shops being considered.
The wild card in the home stretch of the pitch is the presence of Avanti, a company whose core business is offset web and sheet-fed printing. Ranked among the leading 25 companies of Hispanic Business’s Top 500 Directory, the firm has several divisions, including Avanti Plus.
An Avanti representative said the company offers various creative services for its advertising and marketing clients. It outsources whatever clients may need that it does not have, like media planning and buying. The company’s marketing and creative capabilities include graphic design, photography, database management and Internet services.
Fitzgerald won Aruba’s advertising business in spring 1996, defeating Hill, Holliday/Altschiller of New York in the process. Until that time, the island’s ad account had been with Bates USA in New York for six years. At the time Fitzgerald won the business, the client praised its creative as a deciding factor.
Later that year the Atlanta agency broke its first advertising campaign, painting the Caribbean destination as a place “Where happiness lives,” the positioning the agency used when pitching the account three years ago.