AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Lisa Haarlander
Nov. 26--The phone rang a few times before Dave Napierala tore himself away from his laptop.
The call was from a consultant asking if Gelia Wells & Mohr, one of Buffalo's largest advertising agencies, would be interested in a multimillion-dollar account for an automotive company. Napierala was full of questions, but the consultant, Mike Sullivan, could not reveal the name of the business or much else.
Napierala jotted down Sullivan's name and how to reach him and promised to send him information about the 40-year-old advertising company in Clarence. When he put down the phone, he walked briskly to the office of the company president, James L. Phipps, who greeted the news with calm optimism. Gelia had grown rapidly in the past few years and built its reputation by carefully selecting its business partners.
That call in June 2000 began a six-month quest that led to Gelia becoming the main ad agency for a Fortune 200 company called Dana Corp., the largest contract ever landed by the firm.
The final step in the process was a 45-minute presentation to the top officers in the $12 billion company. Gelia was one of three firms in that final round.
Advertising agencies and the companies they represent share an intimate relationship. And no matter how good a presentation or company, a lot rides on chemistry. And at stake here, was a relationship worth up to $8 million.
The local ad scene Four advertising agencies dominate the Buffalo Niagara area: …