Donino, White Connects With Cabletron Systems

Donino, White & Partners here won its biggest account ever last week with the acquisition of the $20-25 million business of Cabletron Systems, a maker of computer networking products in Rochester, N.H.
Allen & Gerritsen in Watertown, Mass., and Ketchum Advertising in Pittsburgh also competed in the review.
The company was seeking a shop for both branding and product assignments, though creating a strong corporate image is essential, said Stephan Gray, Cabletron’s vice president of worldwide marketing, when the review began in December. “Our technology is known, but not our brand name,” he said. The agency will break its first work in mid-1998.
“We’re just beginning,” said agency chief executive officer Frank Donino. “We’re just starting to take them through the [branding] process. We’ll be breaking work for them on network television, cable TV and the major business publications, probably in June.”
Donino, a technology specialist with about 30 employees and pre-review billings of some $40 million, was the smallest shop in the pitch. The desire to be an important account at its first agency and work closely with senior managers were key factors in Cabletron’s choice, sources said. That Cabletron will be its largest client does not faze the agency.
“We’ve already hired two key people, and we’re in the market for about six more,” Donino said. “The pitch has taken two months, and we’ve been interviewing people all along. We’ll also transition a couple of people off other pieces of business.”
Defeating agencies with higher profiles, Donino said, helps put his agency on the map.
“The client said it best,” he said. “They talked to some of the major agencies in New York, went through them and said they found a hidden treasure [in us]. We feel we have a very professional body of people here in all of our departments and that they understand the technology marketplace. We showed that to [Cabletron] in the review.”