Sherwin-Williams Puts Dutch Boy Up for Grabs — Incumbent Griswold Optimistic Agency Will Keep the Account After a Review

CLEVELAND – After nine years spent with Griswold here, Sherwin-Williams is throwing its $4-5-million Dutch Boy Paints division into review this week.
The announcement, expected today, comes after weeks of speculation that the division would go up for grabs. Changes on the client side, including the addition of a new director of advertising, may have led up to the review, sources said.
Four agencies are believed to be involved in the pitch, including Griswold. The agencies are split between Cleveland and New York, according to one insider.
Sherwin-Williams officials didn’t return phone calls last week, and officials at Griswold would only confirm that they were involved in the review.
‘We are still the agency and intend to be the agency in the future,’ said Patrick Morin, who recently returned to the Griswold office as chairman and ceo from parent Ross Roy Group. ‘We’re optimistic that we’ll be successful.’
Insiders say Morin, who had kept contact with Sherwin-Williams while head of Ross Roy Advertising for two years, made the business a top priority in an effort to keep it from going into review. The agency had restructured in an effort to devote more resources to the business.
But whether it’ll be enough to save the business remains to be seen. Griswold is said to have solid relationships with Sherwin-Williams corporately, but new management wants, at the very least, to look at other resources.
Griswold won the business from W.B. Doner in 1984, and was responsible for revamping the paint’s image in the late 1980s. The company broke ranks with other brands when it launched a repositioning of the Dutch Boy brand in 1988. The new campaign was the first to target younger consumers.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)