Cranford Will Not Defend Utility

Little Rock, Ark.-based Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods has come to a “mutual decision” with the client and chosen not to defend its advertising account in the consolidation review being conducted by Carolina Power & Light.
Barb Perkins, vice president of the Raleigh, N.C., office of CJRW, confirmed last week that the shop is no longer pursuing the entire $4 million account, most of which involves media planning and buying by Cranford.
She referred further questions about the review to Atlanta-based consultancy The Bedford Group. Chief executive Jane Bedford could not be reached for comment.
Perkins said the loss of the key account will not affect the status of the Raleigh office, which CJRW opened in January 1998 primarily to service the CP&L account. CP&L is headquartered in Raleigh.
Many of the Cranford personnel at the Raleigh location will continue to work on the business until a new shop is selected. Those staff members will then be reassigned to other accounts across the agency’s three-office network, which also includes a Fayetteville, Ark., location.
In a request for proposal issued earlier this year, CP&L was seeking shops experienced with either industries undergoing deregulation or clients in complex market circumstances. Agencies receiving a questionnaire were expected to return the package by the end of March.
Besides media, CJRW was responsible for various duties involving CP&L’s retail services division, emergency notification programs and database operations. Corporate branding and miscellaneous projects were handled by other undisclosed agencies.
Cranford’s other Raleigh clients include the local United Arts Council, Cafe Carolina, Sheraton and Heater Utilities.
CP&L, prior to assigning tasks to the Arkansas shop in 1997, severed a 25-year relationship with McKinney & Silver, also located in Raleigh.