Contenders Emerge in Rational Sweepstakes

Six semifinalists have emerged in the review for the creative portion of Rational Software’s advertising account.

Pursuing the business are CGN Marketing & Creative Services and Red, both Boston; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn.; and New York players Dor-emus and The Lord Group.

Agencies were chosen to compete based on their ability to craft “integrated marketing communications programs, including direct, interactive and general advertising,” said Kirsten Bradley, a consultant with Pile and Co., Boston, which is overseeing the review.

Internet applications provider Rational, based in Cupertino, Calif., but with substantial operations in Lexington, Mass., split with incumbent Allen & Gerritsen, Watertown, Mass., after working with the agency for one year [Ad-week, Oct. 16].

Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., re-tains media chores.

Allen & Gerritsen had fashioned mainly print, interactive and direct mail executions for the client targeting Fortune 500 firms.

Rational has of late enjoyed impressive financial growth, recently reporting second-quarter revenues of $187.5 million, compared with $128 million for the same period a year ago.

That growth has spurred an increase in planned ad spending as the company looks to compete with software giants such as Computer Associates and smaller players including Mercant, sources have said.

Finalists are expected in the next few weeks with a winner announced shortly thereafter, Bradley said.

The agencies pitching all have various degrees of relevant high-tech and business-to-business experience. Mullen is especially strong in the technology niche, having just unveiled a campaign for Northern Light Technologies [see page 7] and being a past lead agency for CGN recently parted with software provider BroadVision [Adweek, Oct. 23].