Flurry of account shifts

The loss of the $18-million Esso brand business by Saffer Advertising is only the largest of several national account shifts amounting to about $33 million in total billings which have occurred in the last two weeks.Esso is the retail arm of...

The loss of the $18-million Esso brand business by Saffer Advertising is only the largest of several national account shifts amounting to about $33 million in total billings which have occurred in the last two weeks.

Esso is the retail arm of Imperial Oil, which says it terminated its relationship with Saffer to reduce the number of agencies in its stable.

Karen Fricker, senior communications project manager for Imperial Oil, Products Division, says the decision was made after an assessment of Esso’s needs for 1992-93.

Fricker says Imperial worked with six agencies this past summer.

The brand assignment will be distributed among the other Imperial Oil agencies: Goodgoll Curtis and Blitz Promotions in Toronto; and BCP Strategy-Creativity and MBC Marketing in Montreal.

Goodgoll Curtis President Trevor Goodgoll was head of Saffer when it picked up the Esso brand three years ago.

Goodgoll left the agency about two years ago and started Goodgoll Curtis in 1991.

Meanwhile, another major account move was made recently without a review when Purolator Courier moved its $6-million ad account to Scali McCabe Sloves from Harrod & Mirlin, all of Toronto.

Scali was runner-up in the review two years ago that saw h&m take over the business.

Purolator is the country’s biggest courier company and commands about 40% the market.

Scali President Stephen Graham says the agency and Purolater have kept in touch over the past two years, adding Scali has been asked to provide its point of view on marketing strategies on several occasions.

As well, Toronto-based Cara Operations has split its restaurant assignments after a quiet review started in January of this year.

Company policy calls for two suppliers for every segment of its business.

SMW Advertising of Toronto is now handling the advertising for the Harvey’s division.

Ambrose Carr Linton Kelly, which has been the agency for Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s for the past 11 years, retains the Swiss Chalet business.

Cara’s annual budget of about $15 million also includes Steak & Burger and Grand & Toy divisions, but the bulk is split between Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s.

Harrison Young Pesonen & Newell handles media planning and placement for both divisions.

There are 140 Swiss Chalet restaurants and 260 Harvey’s locations in Canada.

In another ad account development, the $1.5-million M&M Meat Shops business has returned to Vickers & Benson, of Toronto.

The Kitchener, Ont.-based m&m called off its agency search and renewed its two-year relationship with v&b.

The two split this past spring because of a conflict of interest between v&b’s long-standing client, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, and m&m’s marketing deal with Wendy’s Restaurants of Canada.

Several agencies expressed interest in the account, but the conflict was removed when m&m and Wendy’s recently terminated their agreement.

All of the Wendy’s brand chicken products are being phased out of the more than 100 M&M Meat Shops.

A national review by Mr.Lube Canada has resulted in Robins Sharpe picking up the $2.5-million agency-of-record assignment.

On the short-list were three other Toronto shops: Ambrose Carr Linton Kelly, Cioffi Associates, and Kert Advertising.

Incumbent McKim Baker Lovick/BBDO, Winnipeg, which handled the business for four years, did not take part.

Mr. Lube, the quick oil change division of Imperial Oil, has its headquarters in Edmonton, but is in the process of moving to Toronto, making a Toronto-based agency a necessity.

Mr. Lube also has plans to expand in eastern Canada.

John Grant, marketing co-ordinator for Mr. Lube, says he expects radio to continue to be a big part of the company’s media mix.

Planning is under way and a new campaign is expected in early 1993 for the 86 Mr. Lube locations across the country.