Crispin In Candy Chase

A week after awarding its media planning and buying account, Chupa Chups USA has cut the shops in its creative review from 16 to six.
Sources said the review’s survivors are incumbent Lois/EJL, Chicago; Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami; The Richards Group, Dallas; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; and New York’s Fallon McElligott and Weiss Stagliano Partners. They are scheduled to make creative presentations the second week of December, with a decision expected shortly thereafter.
Greg McCormick, vice president and general manager of Chupa Chups USA in Atlanta, did not return calls concerning the review.
Among those cut from contention were Match, Atlanta; Ground Zero, Santa Monica, Calif.; and New York’s TBWA/Chiat/Day, DiMassimo and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners.
The advancing agencies have been asked to present ideas for a campaign promoting the client’s lollipops, which gained a celebrity following after being handed out at a New York fashion gathering last year. The winner will also do ads for Smint mints and Pop Rocks candy.
The review was triggered in part by the client’s desire to step up its ad presence in the U.S. While its Web site claims it will spend $40 million globally on various marketing efforts in 1998, Chupa Chups posted just $2 million in 1997 major media ad spending for its three main candy lines, per Competitive Media Reporting.
The candy maker’s 1999 U.S. advertising expenditures are expected to reach $15 million. Chupa Chups hired KSL Media, Los Angeles, to handle its media account two weeks ago [Adweek, Nov. 9].