McCann £8m Gateway threat

McCann-Erickson’s £8m UK Gateway account may be under threat, as a result of the computer manufacturer moving its $250m (£173m) US business in-house.

McCann-Erickson’s &£8m UK Gateway account may be under threat, as a result of the computer manufacturer moving its $250m (&£173m) US business in-house.

The decision is expected to be finalised this week, after talks with Fallon collapsed.

The move follows the sacking of incumbent McCann-Erickson Worldwide earlier this month, although McCann London is still on Gateway’s roster.

The company had been in talks with Fallon’s office in Minneapolis, but the agency this week confirmed it has not been appointed.

Gateway is announcing its new business strategy today (Wednesday), including advertising and marketing plans. Agency sources predict the company will build an in-house advertising department, similar to clothing retailer Gap and use agencies on a project basis.

A spokesman for Gateway says today’s announcement will only affect the US and refused to comment on changes to the international business. No one at McCann was available for comment.

The US review is believed to have been called by Gateway’s founder Ted Waitt, who took on the role of chief executive this month after Jeff Weitzen, who hired McCann in 1998, resigned.

The firing of the agency came less than three weeks after its latest campaign, featuring Michael J Fox, broke on American television.

Gateway recently reported fourth-quarter earnings below already lowered estimates, recording a loss of $94.3m (&£65m) on sales of $2.37bn (&£1.64bn).

For the third-quarter of 2000 Gateway ranked third in worldwide PC shipments behind Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, according to US technology research organisation International Data Corp.

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