Mullen Among 6 Shops for Agfa; Incumbent A&L Declines Invitation

Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is one of six semifinalists to emerge in the review for the
Agfa-Gevaert Group’s $10-12 million international business-to-business advertising account.
Also in the hunt are: DDB Needham in New York, which is pitching in tandem with its London office; Grey Advertising in London; J. Walter Thompson and Merkley Newman Harty, both in New York; and FGI in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Ten-year incumbent Anderson & Lembke in New York was given the option of defending the account but chose not to participate in the review, said Skip Pile, president of Pile and Co., the Boston consulting firm overseeing the search. Anderson & Lembke did not return calls
by press time.
The semifinalists will make presentations to Agfa officials in New York in mid-October. Three or four finalists will then be named, Pile said. A final decision is expected to come by the end of October or early November, he added.
The assignment includes both creative development and media placement for Agfa’s digital imaging and graphics systems used in the medical, motion picture and other industries.
Agfa’s better-known film and related photographic products–which make up roughly one-third of its overall business–are not included, Pile said. That account will remain with McCann-Erickson in New York regardless of the review’s outcome, he said.
Pile has declined to discuss the scope of the work. Sources said the winning agency will be charged with creating both image and product advertising for markets around the world.
The Antwerp, Belgium-based client is looking for large-scale, business-to-business experience and strong media buying capabilities, as well as the ability to create a brand image across fairly technical product lines, sources said.
Mullen has been on an account acquisition streak of late, winning GM Certified Used Vehicles, Swiss Army Brands and the Sci-Fi Channel this year.
FGI is the smallest agency in the group of semifinalists. The shop claims about $75 million and has satellite offices in New York, San Francisco and Fairfax, Va. It specializes in business-related accounts, including American Mobile Satellite and GTE MobileNet. –with
Rob Lenihan and Katy Eckmann

No reason for the review has ever been given.