Carat Tops APL In Media Pitch

Ammirati Puris Lintas has lost its bid for the media buying portion of Ameritech’s estimated $100 million ad account.
The agency, which is Ameritech’s lead creative shop, was bested in a review by Carat ICG, sources said. Carat, which is headquartered in Los Angeles, will service the account from its Chicago office.
Sean Cunningham, co-media director at Ammirati in New York, said, “We brought what we believed to be an excellent solution to our friends at Ameritech, but obviously we weren’t the only ones.” Ammirati pitched the account out of both its New York and newly opened Chicago office.
Ameritech in Chicago started the search for a media buyer in October, when Leo Burnett, Chicago, resigned the account. Burnett is now competing for the conflicting $150-200 million media buying and planning account of SBC Communications in San Antonio, sources said.
Morgan, Anderson & Co. in New York assisted the client with the review and had contacted fewer than 10 shops. Morgan executives declined to name the other contenders.
Ammirati has recently started a push for media-only accounts after winning the media planning and buying duties of cable TV channel Nickelodeon, worth $17-20 million. That account was the agency’s first media-only win since Ammirati & Puris merged with Lintas Worldwide in 1994. Ammirati had not previously pursued media-only work.
Ammirati won the creative portion of Ameritech’s consolidated residential and business account in July. The win led the agency to open a Chicago office, which it hopes will eventually become a full-service operation that will seek additional clients. Ammirati and Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, which handles creative work for Ameritech Cellular, will continue to handle media planning for their businesses.
–with Sloane Lucas