GATEWAY DUMPS SILTANEN/KEEHN AFTER 10 MONTHS

Arnell Group Gets Account; Siltanen Begins Layoffs

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ailing computer marketer Gateway today said it has parted ways with Siltanen/Keehn, El Segundo, Calif., after only 10 months and moved its business to Arnell Group, New York.

The Poway, Calif.-based company broke an ad campaign Monday with Siltanen touting a new brand logo and tagline: "Gateway: A better way." The two new spots address the company's customer service.

Layoffs begin
Siltanen/Keehn immediately began laying off about half of its staff of 44 full-time employees and some regular freelancers, according to an agency executive. The agency has only one other agency of record client, Round Table Pizza.

The dismissal came as a shock to the agency, which recently presented work for the fourth quarter. "We are proud of what we did for them," said Pam Keehn, principal.

Consulted with Arnell
"We are moving the bulk of our advertising creative, including TV, to Arnell Group," said Greg Lund, a Gateway spokesman. Arnell, part of Omnicom Group, consulted on the logo and tagline with Gateway and Siltanen and has been developing a new ad campaign for several months. Arnell was not named agency of record, Mr. Lund said.

Arnell is currently working on Gateway's holiday campaign which is due in November.

Initiative Media North America, Los Angeles, will continue to handle

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Gateway's media buying and planning. Gateway declined to confirm the size of its account. According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Gateway spent $187 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2001 and $67.7 million from January through June of this year.

In the 10 months Siltanen was on the business, it created some memorable commericials, including a series of spots with Gateway Chairman-Founder Ted Waitt talking with a cow, the company's brand mascot. The whimsical spots addressed digital music and computers and the Gateway Country Stores.

Siltanen had worked on a project basis before it got the 10-month relationship.

Agency hopping
Agency hopping has long been part of the Gateway culture.

Prior to Siltanen, Gateway had difficulty hammering out an agreement with Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, which had been a finalist in the review that Siltanen ultimately won. Siltanen, at the time, had been doing project work for Gateway.

In early 2001, Gateway pulled its then $250 million global account in-house. Independent director Henry Corra was tapped by Mr. Waitt to develop advertising in conjunction with DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York. Prior to that, the company parted with Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide. And prior to that relationship, Gateway worked with D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, then part of Bcom3 Group

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