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By Published on .

Texaco, breaking its first minority-targeted ads this week, hopes to move the review for its $25 million corporate account off the back burner. The company could select a winning agency from among five contenders by yearend, said Ron Jeitz, director of worldwide advertising.

Texaco Chairman Peter Bijur initiated the corporate agency review last summer, but a decision was postponed as the company dealt with a highly publicized discrimination suit.

Meantime, Texaco's minority-targeted ads from UniWorld Group, New York, break in print and radio this week-fast work considering the agency was hired in mid-November.


The agencies seeking the corporate account have already made their presentations and no further assignments will be given, Mr. Jeitz said. The five New York shops are incumbent Bates USA, BBDO Worldwide, Lowe & Partners/SMS, Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro/

RSCG and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.

For the image campaign, Texaco asked all shops to present jingles in the review and at least one refused. Several contenders believe BBDO has an edge. Its jingle is based on the song "From a Distance," with an overall theme expected to be "The world starts here."

But Texaco may be backing away from the jingle idea in light of the current publicity. Regarding the jingle, Mr. Jeitz would only say "we would like some umbrella theme."

As for UniWorld, Mr. Jeitz said Texaco expects it "to help us with our plan through the end of the year, then we'll negotiate with them early next year" on further assignments or a full contract.

UniWorld's mission is to soften the negative publicity surrounding the racial discrimination suit filed by African-American Texaco employees against the company. Texaco agreed in mid-November to resolve the case for $176.1 million.

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