R&R Adds Park Place Business

R&R Partners in Las Vegas is the big winner in a consolidation of advertising for Park Place Entertainment’s eight Nevada casinos, the client confirmed last week.

R&R stands to gain about $20 million in new business without a review. Included is a $5 million account from Caesars, which had been handled by Grey’s Los Angeles office, and a $4 million account from Bally’s Casino, formerly at Temerlin McClain in Irving, Texas. Project work that had been parceled out to smaller shops will also go to R&R.

“This is part of an ongoing process to streamline and consolidate,” said PPE svp of corporate communications Robert Stewart. “This is very consistent with what we have been doing on a corporate basis.”

The client, which operates 28 casino properties in the U.S. and has annual revenue of nearly $5 billion, installed new leaders in late 2000 following the death of president and CEO Arthur Goldberg. His successor, Tom Gallager, has looked to achieve cost savings through greater efficiencies, sources said.

R&R Partners CEO Billy Vassiliadis said the decision to shift the accounts came after a series of informal conversations between the agency and PPE management.

“We had an ongoing dialog and a lot of ‘What would you do?’ conversations,” said Vassiliadis. “They reached a comfort level with us based on our experience. Their corporate leadership is also here in Las Vegas.”

R&R’s experience includes ongoing work for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Mandalay Resort Group, which operates three casinos.

R&R’s work for a rival casino operation did not surface as a problem for PPE. “Of course we gave them the green light,” said svp of marketing and events John Marz. “R&R is an agency that has enough depth to put up fire walls between the accounts. We also feel that, with their experience, they may be able to grow the pie for both of us.”

The decision to give R&R all creative and media planning and buying duties on Caesars, which PPE acquired in 1998, effectively ends a 17-year relationship between that casino and Grey. John Crosson, president of Grey, said the parting was “amicable and in the best interests of everyone involved.”

Late last year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority boosted the ad budget for R&R’s “Freedom to escape” campaign by $10 million to almost $28 million. That work will run through June.