E! Scans West Coast

Wants a Shop Close to Home for Campaign
By David Lipin
LOS ANGELES–Proving that long-distance relationships really do take their toll, E! Entertainment Television has confirmed its intent to find a West Coast agency to take over for New York-based Holland Advertising.
The Los Angeles-based cable TV network, which has relied almost exclusively on Holland for its advertising needs, has begun reviewing the work of local shops as it plans to launch a $10-15 million campaign, sources said.
E! senior vice president of marketing Stephen Croncota confirmed that the network is looking for a California agency to help raise its profile among young, hip, Internet-savvy viewers.
A decision could be made within 30 days, he said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a formal review,” he added. “We’re just kind of deciding what to do.”
Sources said a print, radio, TV and interactive campaign would likely fall into the hands of a local boutique. But Croncota said that an agency in San Francisco could be selected.
Holland chairman and creative director Chris Holland said that the agency was still working with E! on consumer TV ads, but had resigned the trade portion of that account.
Sources said the shop faces an uncertain future, having last week laid off at least half its 20-person staff [see page 104]. Croncota said that Holland could be retained on a project basis.
Leo Burnett’s Starcom Media Services in Chicago remains the network’s media- buying agency.
Meanwhile, E! is expected to launch an international print campaign developed by Fusion Idea Lab of Chicago. The campaign is intended to draw attention to E!’s expanding international presence.
While Croncota does not want a deluge of agency inquiries, he did say the network is looking for an agency experienced at targeting its 18- to 34-year-old, entertainment-loving fan base.
“E! is a brand and a network that prides itself on a certain attitude and sensibility,” he said. “Our domain is built upon a certain pop culture and music.”
–with Emily Fromm