Seven Shops Pitching Newspaper's Restructured Account

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A correction has been made in this story. See below for details.

SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Hearst Communication's San Francisco Chronicle said it has parted with its advertising agency, Grant, Scott & Hurley, and has begun a review.

Patricia Hoyt, the newspaper's marketing director, said the Chronicle's new vice chairman and associate publisher, Gary Randazzo, has decided to end the paper's retainer-based agency-of-record assignment and work instead on a project-by-project basis.

Two projects under consideration in the current review include one for recruitment ads and another supporting the paper's editorial content.

Declines to participate
Grant Scott, which had been the Chronicle's agency since 1998, declined to participate in the review, Ms. Hoyt said.

Seven shops are pitching the paper's two new projects. They are Omnicom Group shops DDB Worldwide and Direct Partners Group, both San Francisco; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, San Francisco; independent shops Red Ball Tiger and Silver/Melville/Arbues, both San Francisco; recruitment agency Bernard Hodes, San Francisco; and Rives Carberg, Houston. The list will be cut next week, with a decision expected Dec. 16.

Ms. Hoyt said the paper spends between $3.5 million and $4 million annually on advertising.

Among Grant Scott's most recent work was a humorous TV and radio campaign themed "Sundays will never be the same" announcing the Chronicle's makeover. One spot showed a priest calling in sick for Sunday services because he is reading the paper.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Direct Partners Group had previously handled direct marketing assignments for the Chronicle.