Chasing small-fry clients

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The Austin, Texas-based Omnicom Group shop picked up $40 million in net new accounts from low-budget, mid- to high-profile category leaders in Kinko's, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Dial Corp. and ClubCorp. That's great if you want to work for doughnuts, but it hardly makes up for the lost Charles Schwab & Co. account. GSD&M should be landing bigger game. At least the shop staved off losing Land Rover International in a long-rumored WPP consolidation. However, it appears that GSD&M's affiliations with Wal-Mart Stores and SBC Communications prevented a talented team from pursuing some of the biggest money reviews of the year.

The 2000 addition of Jeremy Postaer as group creative director is beginning to pay off with stellar work for clients that pay the bills, particularly with dizzyingly compelling Land Rover spots and laugh-out-loud funny, market-specific promo spots for Southwest Airlines. Two disappointments: new efforts for Brinker's Chili's Grill & Bar haven't come close to the catchy appeal of earlier baby back ribs campaigns, while its first effort for the U.S. Air Force got lost in the clutter.

LOOKING AHEAD

Will the new work be enough to keep Land Rover in Austin? Watch to see if former BellSouth Corp. Marketing Director Wendy Clark, a relative new-business neophyte, can take GSD&M to its potential heights.

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