FCB Nears Victories On Both Coasts

Alamo Rent A Car, Associates Financial to Split $40 Mil. in N.Y., S.F.
NEW YORK–Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide last week learned it was close to gaining $40 million in billings following competitive pitches on both coasts.
FCB New York entered the Thanksgiving Day holiday in compensation negotiations for the creative portion of Alamo Rent A Car’s estimated $20 million account, sources said. Out West, the direct marketing unit of FCB San Francisco bested J. Walter Thompson Direct and Ogilvy & Mather Direct, both here, for The Associates Financial Services Corp.’s estimated $20 million account, according to sources.
Among the shops considered in the Alamo review, which began in September, were McCann-Erickson, Atlanta; Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York; and Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo.
The Media Edge, a subsidiary of Young & Rubicam in New York, was awarded media planning and buying responsibilities for Alamo last month.
FCB New York president Charlie Taney did not return calls. Alamo vice president of marketing Larry Kruguer declined comment.
The Associates Financial Services in Dallas, which claims assets valued at more than $50 billion, previously handled advertising internally.
The company has not advertised on TV in more than 10 years, sources said. That hiatus ended late last week when FCB’s maiden campaign, developed during the pitch, aired in Texas. The advertising introduces the tagline, “We make loans that make life better,” and stars former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw. The budget is expected to grow significantly as the campaign expands to other markets.
FCB San Francisco chief executive Jack Boland referred calls to the client, which could not be reached at press time.
The additions to FCB’s client roster follows a string of recent successes. In October, 3Com Corp. consolidated its $80 million account at FCB. That was followed in November by about $150 million in business from AT&T, some $70 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Taco Bell’s $80 million field marketing account. Those wins have roughly offset the earlier account losses of Citibank, Tambrands and Mazda Motor of America.