GM Invites 8 Shops to Pursue Hummer
DALLAS–Eight agencies have received invitations from General Motors to participate in a review for the $20 million ad account of Hummer, the demilitarized, wide-bodied vehicle that was made available to consumers following the Gulf War. Sources said participants include the incumbent, Pyro Brand Development, which is pitching with The Richards Group, both in Dallas; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; and McCann-Erickson in Detroit. Berlin, Cameron & Partners in New York received an invitation but will not participate. Three other shops remain undisclosed. The increase in the marketing budget for Hummer, which spent less than $1 million last year, is due to its planned launch of an updated model, the Hummer H2, in 2002.
– Goebel-Klein Merger Forms Blu Granite
ATLANTA–Blu Granite Advertising & Marketing is the new entity formed by the merger of Goebel Marketing Associates and Walt Klein & Associates. The North Carolina agency, with $22 million in billings, will maintain Goebel’s Greensboro and Klein’s Winston-Salem offices, as well as satellite divisions in Denver, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Bill Goebel, 50, is chief executive officer. Walt Klein, 60, is president.
– Holly May Ride Again for Checkers
ATLANTA–Though Checkers Drive-In Restaurants has split with agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky [Adweek, Aug. 7], a marketing executive with the fast-food chain said Holly, Checkers’ animated hot-rodding icon, may make a comeback. “Since the Holly launch, there’s been an increase in brand awareness that suggests the use of animation is breaking through,” said Rich Turer, the Clearwater, Fla., company’s vice president of marketing. “We are going to ask agencies to take a very strong look at Holly. Would they consider using Holly? How would they change her to better communicate product offers and product benefits?” The heroine, created by the Miami agency, appeared in four high-octane Japanimation-style television spots.
– Atlanta Acquisitions Continue Apace
ATLANTA–Deeley Trimble & Company has been acquired by Manning, Selvage & Lee. The New York public relations company will rename the Atlanta-based marketing specialist Deeley Trimble/MS&L. Separately, Atlanta e-business specialist SocketPR was acquired by Hill & Knowlton of New York
– LHC TV Ties Champion to Olympics
ATLANTA–Long Haymes Carr’s new television spot touts Champion Products’ Olympic sponsorship, stitching together hoops and sewing machines through the juxtaposition of street ball and the manufacture of the U.S. basketball team’s uniforms. “The tie-in is what Champion is all about,” said Steve Zades, LHC chairman and CEO. The ad will air on NBC’s Olympic telecasts. The shop and client are both located in Winston-Salem, N.C.
– For the Record
Work’s new address is: 10 South Third St., Richmond, Va. 23219 [Adweek, Aug. 7].