BBDO in ChevronTexaco Chase

BBDO is forging ahead in its pitch for a piece of ChevronTexaco’s consolidated global creative and media account despite rumors of layoffs, sources said.

The San Francisco-based energy concern issued requests for proposals earlier this month to current roster shops BBDO, Houston; McCann WorldGroup and Media-edge:cia, both New York; and Young & Rubicam, San Francisco, according to sources.

A decision on the estimated$50 million account is expected in three to four weeks.

Noncreative pitches will focus on case histories and chemistry, with an eye toward cost efficiencies, sources said. Whether the client will settle on one agency, or go with a small number of key shops, has not been determined.

“It’s not an all or nothing proposition,” said one source.

Other sources said BBDO in Houston, which handles ChevronTexaco’s Latin America account, will lead the agency’s pitch under the direction of managing director Ann Iverson.

The Texas office, however, laid off five to 10 of its 35 staffers last Thursday. Calls to the agency were not returned. BBDO in New York declined comment.

McCann has joined forces with Campbell-Mithun in Minneapolis. The other pitches, sources said, will be spearheaded by those shops’ West Coast locations.

Chevron completed its $38 billion acquisition of Texaco in White Plains, N.Y., last October. The new entity is consolidating its global advertising account as part of a promise to shareholders to cut costs.

An executive from the company’s procurement group is leading a committee composed of members representing corporate advertising, gasoline marketing and local ads in all of ChevronTexaco’s global markets [Adweek, Dec. 17].

The client did not return calls at press time.

Chevron and Texaco spent a combined $95 million on advertising in 2000, per CMR. That figure dropped to $48 million in 2001.

Y&R, San Francisco, assumed ChevronTexaco’s consolidated North American account earlier this year, acquiring the Havoline brand from BBDO. Y&R handled Chevron’s retail account before the merger, while BBDO had Texaco’s $20 million retail advertising account.

McCann-Erickson is responsible for the client’s CalTex brand (ChevronTexaco in Asia), and Mediaedge:cia handles buying.