Agencies Emerge for UPN Task

Disorganization, Pitch Difficulty Are Noted
LOS ANGELES–United Paramount Network has narrowed the list of contenders for its estimated $20 million ad account, according to sources.
Dweck & Campbell, New York; WestWayne, Atlanta; Arnold Communications, Boston; Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Co., Santa Monica, Calif.; and DDB Needham and Mendelsohn/Zien, both Los Angeles, are being considered, sources said.
The client may have had difficulty assembling a list of shops due to what some characterized as “disorganization” at the company, in addition to the difficulty and scope of the pitch assignment. Agencies were asked to reposition the network to appeal to a “young male demographic,” said sources. UPN has tried in recent months to broaden its urban audience with programs such as Dilbert. Shops were also told speculative creative work would be unpaid.
The client will meet with agencies the week of March 5, said sources.
It was unclear at deadline if all contenders would stay in the review. Agency executives declined comment or could not be reached at press time.
Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, withdrew from the contest earlier this month, said sources.
Representatives at the Los Angeles-based client declined comment.
UPN is available in about 84 percent of homes, and ranks behind ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and The WB in terms of viewership. –with staff reports