Blockbuster In Fast-Track Review

Doner, Y&R, JWT Take Part In $160 Mil. Pitch
DETROIT–Blockbuster Entertainment has quietly been conducting a closed review of its estimated $160 million account, from which W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich., is likely to come away the winner, sources said.
Participants in the review: Young & Rubicam, New York, the retailer’s national agency since 1996; Doner, which has handled promotional projects this year; and J. Walter Thompson in Chicago, which was assigned a project targeting teens a month ago.
Doner officials declined comment and directed all calls to Blockbuster. Karen Raskopf, Blockbuster vice president of corporate communications, said Y&R continues to be its agency of record.
In April, sources said Y&R was put on a 90-day probation and told to improve its work. Its most recent advertising uses talking fish and dinosaurs to tout Blockbuster’s diverse offerings. The tagline is: “Go home happy.” Earlier executions featured a computer-generated dancing baby, a singing icon and comedian Richard Lewis.
Doner joined Blockbuster’s roster in January to create a summer promotion that was pushed to 1999. Its first work was a February TV spot featuring video boxes singing the Jackson 5’s 1970 song, “I’ll Be There.”
The chain spent $103 million on media in 1997, per Competitive Media Reporting, but that may go as high as $160 million. –with Andrew McMains

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