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NEW YORK (AdAge.com0 -- Gateway returns to a familiar refrain -- the "You've Got a Friend in the Business" tagline -- in a series of new TV spots that broke March 13 in network
Can Joe Cocker move cow boxes with Beatle tune?
prime time. The spots, promoting Gateway's close relationships with customers, are accompanied by Joe Cocker's anthemic cover of the Beatles tune "With a Little Help From My Friends."

The campaign was produced in-house and was directed by documentary filmmaker Henry Corra, who has worked with the San Diego-based direct marketer of PCs in the past. Gateway parted company with Interpublic Group Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, in January, and moved its estimated $250 million ad account in-house. McCann's direct response TV spots featuring actor Michael J. Fox continue to run.

The reappearance of Gateway's old tagline comes as Chairman Ted Waitt has returned to daily management of the company in the role of CEO. Mr. Waitt and a new management team are looking to get Gateway back on track amid weak sales and slow growth.

Streamlining a battered business
On February 28, Mr. Waitt and company executives briefed financial analysts and the media on plans to streamline the battered business. The company is looking to drive more traffic to its Country Stores, trim product lines and scale back bundles.

"The plan appears very practical and appropriate,

Analyst: Gateway needs to cut costs and prices.
but to execute [it], they need to drastically cut costs and prices," said David Bailey, research analyst at investment bank Gerard Klauer Mattison.

Gateway has recently stepped up its small-business efforts, using its more 350 Country Stores as conduits for training, sales and support services. While the company hasn't announced Country Store closings, some analysts think they're coming. OfficeMax recently cut Gateway product lines from its stores.

The new spots feature longtime Gateway employees talking about meeting customer needs. Customer testimonial-style ads are also planned. It was unclear which customers Gateway has tapped for the spots. The spots are running on network and cable TV. Print and radio will run in Gateway Country Store markets.

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