Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO is poised to gain 4.5m worth of advertising business for Dell Computer after the company fired J Walter Thompson from its 60m global account and reassigned the business to the BBDO network.
Sources speculate that Dell vice-president corporate branding Scott Helbing, who used to work at Tricon-owned Pizza Hut and who joined Dell late last year, was influential in the decision. Tricon uses the BBDO network globally.
The US Dell account moved to JWT in November 1997 after a three-way pitch between Y & R New York and Goldberg Moser O’Neill in San Francisco.
JWT had since devised a campaign for Dell featuring the catch line “Be direct”, which had already appeared in the US and was set to roll out across the world. The advertising had not appeared in the UK.
A spokeswoman for the company in the UK confirmed the move, but said that Dell had “no further comment to make”.
The move mirrors that of Compaq, which in June switched its worldwide account from Ammirati Puris Lintas to DDB Needham network, appointing BMP DDB to the task in the UK.
Dell Computer sells computers direct to the corporate market. According to Register MEAL, it spent 4.5m on advertising in the UK last year.