Pro Wrestlers Leave Ogilvy’s Ring




Turner Also Removes Cable News Network From Boston Handler
ATLANTA–The screen suddenly went black for a pair of agencies working with two units of Turner Broadcasting System last week, as both Cable News Network and World Championship Wrestling severed ties with their shops.
Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Ogilvy & Mather confirmed that CNN and WCW, respectively, have ended their relationships with the agencies.
Sources said TBS is taking both of the Atlanta-based accounts in-house.
According to Hill, Holliday, the mutually agreed upon parting was over “strategic differences.” An agency source said the relationship became strained when CNN opted to promote specific nightly program lineups. The agency had also recently shifted the account from its Boston headquarters to its New York office.
A CNN representative did not return calls seeking comment.
A representative of Ogilvy in Atlanta, which won the business in 1997, said the WCW was “reassessing” the account, a comment echoed by the ersatz sport group’s new vice president of international development and branding, Sharon Sidello.
“We were working with them on some phases of our branding campaign, and right now we’re not continuing our branding campaign,” she said. “We don’t have any plans to do any additional things, and if we do, we’ll do it in-house.”
According to Competitive Media Reporting, the WCW spent $1.6 million though the first five months of 1999, and $1.7 million for all of 1998. WCW’s prime competitor, the World Wrestling Federation, handles its advertising internally.
CNN hired Hill, Holliday after a review in January. Its first work, tagged “You are what you know,” broke July 1 in print as well as on CNN and CNN.com.
Originally valued by CNN at $25 million, Competitive Media Reporting lists actual 1999 advertising expenditures through May at $5.5 million. Total spending for 1998 was $12.4 million.
After an extensive review in 1996, CNN hired Deutsch in New York as its agency. No work was ever produced and the two parted ways in less than a year.
DiNoto Lee in New York continues to handle advertising for Headline News.
Multiple layers of management weigh in on advertising decisions at CNN. As such, the process of approving creative work can be a bear, according to sources. “It’s so political. And there are too many cooks in the kitchen,” one source said.