VIEWPOINT;EPB RESPONDS ON ITS YEAR

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I know Advertising Age considers itself an objective reporter of our industry, so I am certain that you will want to know the true facts behind your July 1 story on USAir, which presents a misleading picture of what is actually happening at Earle Palmer Brown.

Essentially, the facts regarding USAir's consolidation with McCann-Erickson are accurate. However, it's important to emphasize that this consolidation was because of USAir's own internal reasons-changing management and strategy, and not because of agency performance...

Unfortunately, the last half of the story regarding Earle Palmer Brown is unbalanced. The story implies that the agency is failing. And that's totally misleading and unfair.

First, despite USAir's consolidation of its $25 million retail business at McCann, billings are not going "to be down substantially in 1996" as you reported. In fact, 1996 has been an excellent year so far and the agency is substantially ahead of projections and last year's billings to date. While USAir was one of our biggest clients, it represented less than 10% of our business (not 20% as your story suggested), and we expect to replace the business by year-end. Over the last year our offices have added 30-plus new clients and close to $60 million in new business, so we anticipate ending the year ahead of where we entered it.

Second, five of our largest clients are not "lost or in review." In fact, among our largest clients, only the Virginia Lottery is in review, and that is a state-required four-year contract renewal, which we are vigorously defending...

The Florida Lottery is not an EPB client. Our affiliate, Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown, a separate agency with separate management in which we own a minority interest, handled the Florida Lottery. Although YPB did not retain the lottery through the vagaries of the rebid process, they have done great work and still remain the largest agency in Florida.

American Floral Marketing Council is holding a review as mandated by their charter. AFMC has been an EPB client for 12 years, but is not among our largest. Nor is Golden Corral, which has changed to more regional and local programs. We continue to handle national creative on a project basis.

Third, EPB management is not a "revolving door." In the last 18 months we have re-engineered the agency from a decentralized office structure with traditional departments to a more coordinated system of integrated client teams.

Some senior folks who were used to a traditional agency structure were not compatible with this new team approach and are no longer with the agency. We are busy building a new generation of management to lead the agency.

Jeremy E. Brown

Earle Palmer Brown

Bethesda, Md.

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