No longer can anyone call Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, just a Southern shop.
In 2000 the Texas agency more than proved it deserves its reputation as a national player with account wins that included the $40 million U.S. Air Force account, the $30 million Charles Schwab & Co. mutual funds account and the $75 million Land Rover account.
The agency's estimated revenues increased to more than $90 million last year, from $65 million in 1999.
On the downside, however, GSD&M lost a pitch to win the estimated $300 million Cingular Wireless business created by a merger of the wireless assets of BellSouth Corp. and SBC Communications. GSD&M, the incumbent agency for SBC's portion, created print ads for Cingular's new name before losing the account.
Creatively, the agency had a solid year. The best creative material included TV commercials for Southwest Airlines and Land Rover. Southwest's "Wanna get away" campaign presents leaving town as solution for people caught in embarrassing situations. One spot shows a nosy guest rifling through a medicine cabinet that then collapses with a booming clatter.
For Land Rover, one commercial shows a husband and wife rescuing a shivering dog during a rainstorm as a voice-over states, "If you do one thing, you've done something."
The agency recruited top-tier creative talent and named well-known Art Director Jeremy Postaer to the new position of group creative director. His task is to further enhance the teams working on Southwest Airlines and Land Rover.
Observers wonder how long Land Rover will stay with GSD&M, which won the account shortly before Ford Motor Co. bought the brand in May. Most Ford work is now consolidated at WPP Group; there is speculation that Y&R Advertising, New York, which handles Land Rover in Europe, might be tapped to take over the U.S. account, even though a Land Rover spokesman said that the company intended to stay with GSD&M.
Last year's rating: 3