Martin Still In AMF Tourney

ATLANTA – Three agencies have survived the first and only cut in the review for AMF Bowling Worldwide’s $10-15 million advertising account.
The trio still in the running, according to AMF vice president of marketing Merrell Wreden, is: The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; The Richards Group in Dallas; and Carmichael Lynch of Minneapolis.
Trimmed from the evaluation process were two agencies in New York, Hampel/Stefanides and Merk-ley Newman Harty, and Chicago Creative Partnership.
Finalists will make presentations to the client in Richmond during the week of May 25. On the review panel will be pitch consultant Harry Jacobs (also chairman emeritus of Martin), Wreden and AMF Bowling Worldwide president and chief executive officer Douglas Stanard.
Speculative creative work will not be required. Instead, agencies have been asked to address several “strategic issues.” Wreden would not elaborate.
The client hopes to make a decision that week, but Wreden said final deliberations may require more time.
Addressing the possible conflict of interest in Jacobs’ relationship with Martin, Wreden said that all the contenders had been informed who would be assisting AMF with the review from the outset. There have been no complaints from agencies involved in the finals.
“I’m not on [Martin’s] payroll,” Jacobs said late last week. “Martin will have to earn its keep.” He added that Wreden and Stanard will make the decision on their next shop.
The incumbent is Mumford Marketing, also in Richmond. Mumford, which Wreden previously said would continue to “have a role” with AMF, won the account in early 1997.
While both creative and media chores are up for grabs, Wreden said earlier that assignments may be made separately.