BP Amoco Taps Carol Williams

Client Cites African American Shop’s ‘High-Energy’ Approach
LOS ANGELES–As BP Amoco expands its presence in urban areas, the company has awarded Carol H. Williams Advertising creative and media planning duties for the African American market.
The Oakland, Calif.-based specialty ethnic agency was selected over several undisclosed contenders from around the country, after a lengthy review that began earlier this year. Leo Burnett’s Starcom Worldwide unit in Chicago will continue to handle the media buying portion of the estimated $10 million account.
The client, based in Chicago, was formed last December through the merger of oil companies BP and Amoco. Vince Cullers Advertising, Chicago, had handled Amoco’s African American advertising for several years.
“We wanted to turn over a new leaf,” said client representative Howard Miller. “[Carol H. Williams Advertising] is an agency we’re very happy to do business with.”
BP Amoco senior brand manager Carol Hartigan Prince praised the agency’s track record in brand building in the African American market. “Their high-energy creative approach correlates with the dynamic culture at BP Amoco,” she said. “It’s a perfect match.”
More than a quarter-century ago, Amoco, which has a high concentration of gas stations in urban areas, became one of the first major petroleum companies to market to the African American community.
In pitching the business, the agency presented credentials and strategic ideas, but not spec creative work, said founder and president Carol Williams.
In addition to Williams, the pitch team included account supervisor Heather Streets, vice president/account director Lynn Holman, creative director Ray Clemons and media director Anthony Welch.
Williams said the agency is starting work on ads that will break early next year.
The $65 million agency works for other national clients, including Nissan and Coors. This summer it was named Black Enterprise magazine’s 1999 Ad Agency of the Year. K