Fallon Walks Away From Gateway

Fallon ended talks with computer maker Gateway last week in part over the company’s intention to handle at least some of its $250 million account in-house, sources said.

The agency wanted to head off what it saw as a potentially bad relationship before it began. The scope of Fallon’s role had been a key part of talks that began two weeks ago, insiders said.

Gateway officials declined to comment on Fallon or the future of its ad account, which sources said is expected to move in-house. The San Diego company this week is expected to break a TV spot that was created in-house and directed by documentary filmmaker Henry Corra, sources said.

The client is thought to be talking to at least two shops about its media account, sources said. Universal McCann is the incumbent; Initiative Media North America has handled the business in the past. A formal request for proposals has been or will be sent out shortly, sources said.

Fallon’s New York and Minneapolis offices had been expected to pick up Gateway’s account following a review that included Siltanen/Keehn in El Segundo, Calif., Arnold Worldwide in Boston, and DiMassimo Brand Advertising in New York. It is believed Gateway has not reconnected with those shops, leading many to believe the account is headed in-house.

“We couldn’t come to an agreement on terms, and we wish them the best,” said Fallon Minneapolis president David Lubars.

Gateway officially parted ways with McCann-Erickson in New York two weeks ago, though it had been contacting other shops since November.