NEW WINS FOR GREY TORONTO EASE LOSS OF ROOTS AIR ACCOUNT

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TORONTO -- Several recent client wins at Grey Global Group's Grey Worldwide, Toronto, will help the agency weather some unexpected turbulence from the sudden demise of its Roots Air account, which is now in limbo.

"There is some pain that comes with this," said John Clinton, Grey's president and CEO. "I just don't know what that means yet."

Operator Skyservice Airlines on May 4 suspended flights of fledgling Roots Air, citing growing competition from a newly expanded competitor. In the air for less than six weeks, Roots Air was the latest expansion of Canada's Roots clothing and lifestyles brand, which put its name on the carrier in a partnership deal.

"We were fortunate last year with some growth," said Mr. Clinton, pointing to additions that include Block Drug Co.'s Poli-Grip and Polident denture-care brands as well as Canon Canada's camera and printer business. "Obviously that helps a lot."

Mr. Clinton said the agency gained a lot of important experience from the work. "Airline accounts are incredibly complex," he explained. "Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. You learn how to deal with that complexity." -- Stephen Barrington

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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