Hyundai to Hear Pitches This Week

LOS ANGELES—Hyundai Motor America is set to meet this week with the four agencies vying for the national creative portion of its $160 million account. Presentations are scheduled for April 19 and 20 at the Fountain Valley, Calif., client, confirmed Hyundai representative Chris Hosford. Sources said meetings are expected to last between two and two and a half hours, with Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, presenting Friday morning, followed by Publicis in the West, Seattle, in the afternoon. Incumbent Bates USA West, Irvine, Calif., will present Saturday afternoon. It could not be determined when The Richards Group in Dallas will present. The agencies declined comment. The review is being led by Select Resources International in West Hollywood, Calif. A decision is expected by the end of this month, although Hosford said additional meetings could take place.

G/F/D/M Shuts; Some Staff, Clients Head to Phelps

LOS ANGELES—G/F/D/M has shuttered operations, and several key staffers and accounts have moved to The Phelps Group, former G/F/D/M executive creative director Bruce Dundore confirmed. Nine of G/F/D/M’s 16-20 employees have joined the Santa Monica, Calif., shop, including Dundore, who becomes creative director; former president and CEO Ken Gal, who becomes “head problem solver”; and former director of media services Leah Mitchell, said Phelps Group president Joe Phelps. Dunn-Edwards Paints and Whole Foods Markets have also made the transition, and other accounts may follow, said Phelps. G/F/D/M was formed last year through the merger of Asher/Gal & Partners in Los Angeles and San Francisco’s Zuckerman Fernandes & Partners.

Moses Anshell Wins America West

LOS ANGELES—America West Airlines has hired Moses Anshell to handle its creative and media account following a two-month review that included five Phoenix agencies. Riester-Robb was the other finalist, sources said. The airline ended its relationship late last year with Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. “Our needs and advertising budgets changed after Sept. 11,” said J. Scott Kirby, evp of sales and marketing for America West. “We also thought it was important to have a hometown agency.” The Tempe, Ariz.-based client spent more than $9 million on ads last year, per CMR. Kirby said the current ad budget is less than in past years, but declined to give specifics. New work will include print ads, with some TV and radio, said Moses Anshell CEO Jos Anshell. The client and agency were unsure if they would retain the current tagline, “Every flight counts.”

Mering Lands Buy California

LOS ANGELES—The California Department of Food and Agriculture last week named Mering & Associates in Sacramento the apparent successful bidder in a review for a new campaign aimed at encouraging Californians to buy more locally grown agricultural products. Billings for the Buy California account are expected to be $13-14 million over three years. Mering will handle creative and media. The other finalists were Runyon, Saltzman & Einhorn, Sacramento, and Amazon Advertising in San Francisco. The contract is expected to begin April 19.

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