Doner Looks Beyond PNC Bank




Agency Says the Loss Is Mitigated by Wins in California, Canada
CHICAGO–Doner last week softened the loss of the $25 million PNC Bank account, pulled by the client after just six months, by picking up IntelliFutures’ business and Blockbuster work in Canada.
Pittsburgh’s PNC, which in April chose Doner over Mullen, Boston, following a five-month review, moved its account to Arnold Communications, Boston. Sources said the shift was orchestrated by Denise Thorne Johnson, senior vice president of marketing at the bank, who previously worked at Arnold.
“It’s disappointing when you consider we came out on top of a tough and professionally run review against some of the best shops in the business,” said Alan Kalter, chairman of Doner, Southfield, Mich. “But there were chemistry issues with one individual that made a long-term relationship impossible.”
Johnson, sources said, was never happy with the decision to select Doner and wanted her own shop, a suggestion she denied last week.
Doner will handle the estimated $15 million IntelliFutures account out of its Newport Beach, Calif., office. The Alison Ciejo, Calif.-based company is a new online trading venture, launching early next year. Doner will handle offline advertising and brand development, and consult on the design of the trading site.
Separately, Doner’s Toronto office won a review for Blockbuster Entertainment’s $10 million account in Canada. Its Southfield office handles the video retailer’s U.S. business.
PNC’s move to Arnold was made possible when Fleet Boston Corp., the holding company resulting from Fleet Financial Group’s buyout of BankBoston, moved its corporate ad account, worth at least $40 million, from Arnold to Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston.