Clarion Car Audio, DGWB Reunite

After losing Qualcomm, one of its largest clients, DGWB is showing signs of recovery by recapturing former client Clarion Car Audio.
After talking informally with several undisclosed Southern California shops over the last few months, the Gardena, Calif.-based client chose to return to DGWB, Dossin said. The Irvine, Calif.-based agency had split with Clarion in February after handling its estimated $3 million car audio account for three years. Neither party would comment on the specifics of the split. “We’re just looking at moving forward,” agency vice president Mandi Dossin said at the time.
“DGWB is the agency that knows our business best,” said Mark Thiese, Clarion’s director of marketing, who joined the client just prior to the split and headed up the search for a new shop. “It’s great to have the team back together again.”
“It makes sense for us to get back together and give it another shot,” said agency president Mike Weisman. “We have a renewed confidence in each other.”
The agency’s primary task this year is to plan the launch of the Clarion AutoPC for the January 1999 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to Weisman. Jointly created by Clarion and Microsoft, the AutoPC is a Microsoft Windows CE-based car audio system that integrates communication, navigation, information and entertainment.
DGWB is in the early planning stages on the launch, said Weisman, adding that the account billings could increase depending on the launch’s success. Recapturing Clarion puts DGWB’s billings at approximately $55 million. Its other clients include Avia, Op, Filenet, TOTO, Surfrider Foundation, KFC, Lactaid, Prudential and Weinerschnitzel.
The shop recently declined to defend its estimated $20 million Qualcomm telecommunications business when the client launched a review of agencies nationwide [Adweek, June 8].