CME Finally Gets AirTouch Call

Service Offices Planned for Detroit, West
CHICAGO–Despite adding a third major client with ties to the Detroit area, Campbell Mithun Esty officials said the agency is not planning to open a full-service office in the Motor City.
The Minneapolis agency last week was awarded consolidated creative duties on AirTouch Cellular’s $100 million account. The account will rank among the agency’s top three in terms of size, along with Kmart Corp., based in Troy, Mich., and Domino’s Pizza, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., said agency president Les Mouser.
CME will open service offices in Detroit, Seattle and Irvine, Calif., to handle AirTouch, but they are not precursors to any full-service operation outside Minneapolis, Mouser said.
“We believe in centralized organization and managing our business out of one headquarters,” he said. The agency has an outpost in New York that houses only a creative staff.
The shop plans to hire a total of 18 people to staff the three new offices.
Though CME was widely reported to be the winner of the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based telecommunication company’s account after final presentations in October [Adweek, Oct. 12], contract negotiations required four months to sort out. Mouser offered no details about the delay.
During those four months, AirTouch announced its intention to merge with British communications company Vodafone. That combination is not expected to affect CME’s ability to work for AirTouch, Mouser said.
Prior to the consolidation, AirTouch Cellular’s creative duties were spread among six agencies. Media duties are handled by Grey Advertising’s MediaCom unit in New York.