Gateway has put its $17m (&£12m) through-the-line UK and Ireland account up for review. It has invited ten agencies to enter the first pitch, including incumbent McCann-Erickson.
The company expects to shortlist four companies in the next two weeks and make a final decision in August. The majority of the work will be above-the-line, with about $3m (&£2.1m) below-the-line.
Marketing Week reported last month that McCann-Erickson was on alert following Neil Stevens’ appointment as Gateway’s first UK and Ireland marketing director (MW June 21). Stevens has since put the media buying and planning business out to pitch.
Stevens says he made the decision to review arrangements after talks with McCann-Erickson over the past few weeks: “We need to understand what other [advertising] ideas are out there. We’re coming to this with a clean sheet.”
Stevens is building a UK and Ireland marketing team, increasing staff from five to 16 people. He is looking for business, consumer and marketing managers to work with him at Gateway’s office in Uxbridge, Middlesex.
He plans to broaden the appeal of Gateway’s computers, favoured by specialist and technology-aware customers, and is considering introducing differing software and hardware packages.