Gateway said it would not comment on agency relationships at this time. Initiative and Carat declined to comment.
The No. 3 seller of PCs in the U.S. behind Dell and HP, once well-known for its consumer-friendly stores and folksy cow-themed boxes, has been quiet on the marketing front for some time. In July of 2005, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, resigned as the company's creative agency, citing an inability to "agree on the strategic direction of the brand." Since then, Gateway has worked with Carat for media and interactive and the Woo Agency for direct response.
The media account move quickly follows Ed Coleman slipping into the CEO slot at Gateway on Sept. 18. Mr. Coleman takes over from Rick Snyder, who was interim CEO after Wayne Inouye resigned in February. Previously, Mr. Coleman was president of Arrow Electronic's Enterprise Computing Solutions.
Gateway has been a bit off the radar screen in terms of market share, and advertising, for a while. It bought eMachines in 2004, which resulted in Mr. Inouye, the CEO of eMachines, taking over after Gateway founder Ted Waitt left to focus on his charity, the Waitt Foundation.