Ritz: Sawyer By A Nose

Atlanta’s Sawyer Riley Compton edged out co-finalist Leslie Advertising of Greenville, S.C., to land advertising duties for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. last week.
The decision ended a four-month review spearheaded by Ritz-Carlton corporate director of marketing Dan Collins.
“It was virtually a dead heat between the two finalists,” said Col-lins, adding that Sawyer Riley Compton’s (SRC) geographic proximity eventually became a factor in the decision.
The account will be transferred from incumbent Tausche Henderson Drake (THD), Atlanta, by early October. THD opted not to defend the business it held for 12 years.
Collins said he expects 1999 spending to grow significantly from the $5 million budgeted for 1998.
SRC will develop corporate advertising globally, as well as ads promoting the company’s 23 North American properties.
SRC executives could not be reached to discuss the win at press time. The agency will meet with the client this month to discuss its first work, expected to roll out early next year. Print is expected to account for the bulk of SRC’s assignments.
“What we were doing with this whole process was making certain that we have an agency that will push us beyond our comfort zone in terms of creative and media recommendations,” Collins said.
When Ritz-Carlton launched the review in May, it wanted to name a new shop by August. That timetable was altered because of travel by client officials, said Collins.
The hotelier also considered Fitz-gerald & Co. and Broadus & Associates, both Atlanta, and The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Fla.