Dexter Account in Review

Incumbent PS&K to Defend Amid Agency Turmoil

BOSTON-Dexter Shoe last week confirmed it would review its ad account, a blow to longtime incumbent Pagano Schenck & Kay. The move follows last week’s departure of agency president and chief executive Rick Sandler and comes amid industry speculation that partner and chairman Bob Pagano is pursuing opportunities at other agencies.
The review is the Dexter, Maine, shoe maker’s first in 11 years. “We have had a wonderful relationship with PS&K, but we’ve never had a review before,” said Dexter vice president of advertising Susan Haviland. “We’re looking at it as a healthy process.”
PS&K plans to defend the account, said agency creative director and partner Woody Kay. Dexter allocated $1.4 million to media spending in 1996, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Pagano, who co-founded the $30 million Boston shop with Kay 11 years ago, denied speculation that he was looking elsewhere: “I’m not contemplating anything other than working on keeping things moving along and making sure the momentum we have continues.”
Kay insisted that Sandler’s replacement would be sought and that noncompete and confidentiality agreements signed by Sandler with PS&K would prevent him from taking either clients or staffers. (See related story below.)
At least one client that Sandler is credited with bringing in during his eight-month tenure is Webster Bank of Waterbury, Conn. A meeting between the agency and the client is scheduled for today. Margaret Steeves, the bank’s senior vice president of marketing, voiced confidence in the shop. “Our contract is with them, and we’re pleased with the work they’ve done,” she said.