Holmes & Lee resigns Canada's 'National Post' account

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TORONTO--Just two months after winning a creative assignment from the National Post newspaper, Holmes & Lee has resigned the account, effective immediately. The agency says it's disappointed that the newspaper had brought in Garth Drabinsky as a creative marketing consultant. Mr. Drabinsky is best known for his theatre work, putting on productions in both Canada and the U.S.

"We have a great deal of respect for Mr. Drabinsky in entertainment. We had extreme differences in advertising," says John Lee, president of Toronto-based Holmes & Lee. "We are extremely disappointed because the National Post has an excellent product and some terrific people. In fact, they do not want to close the door on a future relationship, which is encouraging."

However, the National Post's Ron Clark, senior VP-sales and marketing, says Holmes & Lee was hired for a creative assignment which has been completed. The assignment included direct marketing and direct response TV, but Mr. Drabinsky was brought in to work on the direct response TV while Holmes & Lee focused on direct marketing.

Holmes & Lee had won the assignment following an agency competition that included TBWA/Chiat/Day and Taxi Advertising & Design, both much larger shops in Toronto.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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