Longs Eyes a Shortlist in Review

Doner to Defend Business for First Time
DETROIT–Longs Drug Stores is looking for agencies with branding and retail experience in a review for its $18 million account.
Terry Burnside, senior vice president of marketing, said the Walnut Creek, Calif., retailer has invited “a very select group of agencies” to the review, including incumbent Doner, Southfield, Mich. A decision is due in March. The client has not conducted a review in the eight years Doner has been agency of record.
“With the numerous strategic initiatives we’re looking at, we just want to make certain we’re in the right place,” Burnside said.
Doner is participating, most likely through its Newport Beach, Calif., office, according to a source. Agency officials declined comment.
Contenders must have an office on the West Coast, but not necessarily near San Francisco, Burnside said. No consultant is involved.
Other participants include Grey Advertising, Los Angeles, and BBDO and Hoffman/Lewis, both San Francisco, sources said. Executives at those shops either could not be reached or declined comment.
Burnside would not confirm those invited, but said the group is less than 10. They are at “both ends of the spectrum” in terms of size, he said.
The 60-year-old drugstore chain operates more than 400 units in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
Longs spent around $15 million on advertising through September of 1999 and $18 million in 1998, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Recent TV spots from Doner play up the neighborly relationship Longs has with its customers.