DMB&B snares Dow account

The Toronto office of dmb&b is flying high after beating out a u.s. agency and snagging the North American account for Dow Construction Materials.Dow makes a range of commercial and residential building products. It is, perhaps, best known for its Styrofoam-brand...

The Toronto office of dmb&b is flying high after beating out a u.s. agency and snagging the North American account for Dow Construction Materials.

Dow makes a range of commercial and residential building products. It is, perhaps, best known for its Styrofoam-brand insulation.

Before the account win, which was announced in August, dmb&b was already Dow’s agency-of-record in Canada.

In the u.s., the company’s account was with The Jayme Organization of Cleveland.

But Dow, which spends $3 million on communications in the u.s. and $1.5 million in Canada, decided to consolidate the business as part of a corporate reorganization begun in 1992.

Seamless entity

Richard Proskow, group communications manager for the Midland, Mich.-based firm, says Dow’s intention is to become a seamless North American operational entity, whereas, in the past, it maintained separate divisions in Canada and the u.s.

As part of the reorganization, Dow largely closed down its Canadian head office in the last year or so.

Proskow says dmb&b will also be responsible for Dow advertising in Mexico, a market the manufacturer is just beginning to explore.

He says dmb&b won the review, in part, because of its understanding of Dow’s business needs in Canada and the u.s., and, in part, because of its network of sister agencies across the continent.

Rupert Brendon, chairman of dmb&b, says the win demonstrates that Toronto agencies have the expertise to compete successfully against u.s. agencies for business on both sides of the border.

Third N.A. account

Indeed, the win marks the third North American ad account dmb&b has landed in the last couple of years.

The agency also handles Canadian and u.s. advertising for the Turkish Board of Tourism and the Barbados Board of Tourism.

Brendon, who two months ago announced his intention to retire from dmb&b at the end of the year, says he believes one of the key reasons dmb&b triumphed in the head-to-head review is Dow felt secure it would be treated as a primary account.

Brendon points out Dow will be dmb&b’s second- or third-largest piece of business behind Procter & Gamble, which is the largest, and one other he declines to name.

Gary Brandes, co-managing director of dmb&b, says, ‘We had to demonstrate that they would be an important client.’

‘Clients want to be sure you are treating them as a top account, ‘ Brandes says.

Advantage

Brendon goes on to say he feels Canadian agencies can hold an advantage over u.s. agencies in North American reviews in that Canadians tend to know more about u.s. markets than u.s. agencies know about Canadian markets.

According to Brendon, this is a strength Canadian agencies ought to take advantage of more often.

‘It is a hell of a lot easier for a Canadian to assimilate u.s. know-how than it is for someone in the u.s. to assimilate Canadian know-how, ‘ he says.