Silicon Graphics Gives Cole & Weber Notice

By Angela Dawson

LOS ANGELES–Silicon Graphics has notified Cole & Weber, its advertising agency of two years, that it will terminate its contract in June.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based advertiser is considering putting its account into play, according to a company representative.

‘We will likely put it in review in the near future, but we have made no (final) decision,’ said Roger Siminoff, Silicon Graphics director of marketing communications.

Ad spending on the account has been in the $15 million range over the past two years, Siminoff confirmed.

Although he declined to specify how much the company will budget for advertising this year, he said that spending will be ‘far more dynamic’ than in the past.

Siminoff did not say why the agency was fired, but noted that the client is working on an aggressive marketing plan, ‘which will require a different (agency) partner.’

The 25-year-old high-tech company is a leading supplier of high-performance interactive computing systems. Its products range from low-end desktop workstations to high-end supercomputers. The company last week announced an 80 percent drop in net income for its third fiscal quarter because of problems in shifting to a new computer line.

The relationship between the client and agency has been shaky for some time, according to former Cole & Weber executive Brian Ribbey, who recently resigned as managing director of the Portland office. (See related story on page 6.) The account initially was handled by the agency’s Seattle office, but was moved last year to Portland. Distance between the agency and client was a factor, he said.

Debby Kennedy, president of Cole & Weber, said that Silicon Graphics’ management shifts have not worked in the agency’s favor.

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