SIX FLAGS AWARDS DONER $100 MILLION AD ACCOUNT

Struggling Theme Parks Operator Hopes to Reverse Financial Slide

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Theme-parks company Six Flags today said it awarded its estimated $100 million creative and media services account to independent agency Doner, Southfield, Mich.

Doner is expected to handle the

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media planning and buying portion of the account in-house. Spending on the global account is estimated at $100 million. According to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, Six Flags spent $46 million in measured media in the U.S. last year.

Other contenders
Roth Associates, New York, supervised the review. Other agencies contending for the account included Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles; Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis; and independent Ackerman McQueen, Oklahoma City, which had been the incumbent agency.

Six Flags is currently struggling financially; the firm posted a quarterly loss in mid-August and said full-year adjusted earnings would be 15% less than in 2002. Analysts had expected the company's stock to pick up before the peak of summer business, but the company told Wall Street that bad weather had affected theme-park attendance.

Good news for Doner
While the marketer is looking to reverse its sagging fortunes, the account is a big boost for Doner, which lost out on several high-profile pitches, for DuPont, Meijer, Midas and Zurich Life. But earlier this month the agency picked up media duties for Outback Steakhouse and in January it won creative duties for retailer Carpet One and E.W. Scripps Co.'s Home and Garden Television.

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