Cabletron Heads To Donino

Allen & Gerritsen Falls Short; Client Ups Ad Budget

BOSTON-Computer networking company Cabletron Systems last week ventured beyond the New England region to establish its first agency relationship.
Donino, White & Partners in Atlanta has been tapped as lead agency on the account following a review, the client confirmed. Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass., and Ketchum Advertising in Pittsburgh were the other finalists. Cabletron previously handled its advertising chores in-house.
In a written statement issued last week, the Rochester, N.H.-based client said it will spend $20-25 million on ads this year, nearly twice its original budget. It also contained praise for Donino’s high-tech expertise.
A technology specialty shop with about 30 employees, Donino was the smallest participant in the pitch. Cabletron’s desire to be an important account at its first outside agency and work closely with senior managers were important factors in the decision, sources said. The company is believed to be Donino’s largest client.
Cabletron was seeking an agency to handle both branding and product assignments, though creating a strong corporate image is essential, said Stephan Gray, vice president of worldwide marketing at Cabletron, when the agency search was launched in December. “Our technology is known, but not our brand name,” Gray said at the time.
Executives at Cabletron did not attribute the agency search to heightened competition or the company’s recent earnings doldrums, though sources said those were driving factors. “It was just time to look elsewhere,” Gray said. Cabletron has been struggling of late against competitors such as Bay Networks and Cisco Systems.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Bay Networks recently launched its first national television and print campaign through Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Western International Media, both in Boston. The $30 million effort targets top-level corporate executives at Fortune 500 companies and employs the tagline, “Where information flows.”