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L.A STREET CLAWS AT FAME SHORT STRETCH IS HOME TO AGENCIES FOR MANY TOP BRANDS

By Published on .

LOS ANGELES-Wilshire Boulevard is the cat's meow.

At least in terms of feline food advertising. Most cat food ads these days are being produced by a group of agencies littered along a milelong stretch of the mid-Wilshire corridor.

Included in the catwalk, sandwiched between Beverly Hills and downtown Los Angeles, is Grey Advertising, agency for Kal Kan Foods' Sheba brand; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, which handles Mars' Whiskas division; and Dailey & Associates and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, the forces behind ads for Nestle USA's Friskies and Fancy Feast, respectively.

The phenomenon is particularly interesting in Los Angeles, a city known more for its Japanese car and retail work than package-good accounts. And the catty crew is lingering on mid-Wilshire when many agencies are forgoing the once-popular address to set up shop closer to the beach.

And they aren't fraidy cats who were tempted to prowl after last January's Northridge earthquake.

Dailey President-Creative Director Cliff Einstein said cats "are especially leery of earthquakes, which makes the whole thing even more strange."

Perhaps some clients just want to curl up close to their shops-Nestle USA and Kal Kan Foods are both based in southern California. DMB&B Chief Creative Officer John Armistead doesn't report any catfights among competitors after Whiskas' "Bird II" commercial won a Clio and was named one of Time and Advertising Age's top spots for 1992. It featured a small bird who delivered the line, "Read my beak. No more birds for dinner."

Wilshire could add more pet food work. Nestle's recent purchase of Alpo could mean either McCann-Erickson or Dailey, also the agency for Nestle's Mighty Dog brand, would pick up work.

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