Bart Brown, a senior vice president at bovine branded direct-sell computer products giant Gateway, yesterday announced to the media and financial analysts that it is to move its $250 million advertising account inhouse.

In laconic Iowa cowpoke mode, Brown promised "relentless messaging" to promote a new brand promise and "reset the brand" – qualities he apparently believes no city-boy ad agency to be capable of delivering.

The ailing computer company will revamp its transactional website to make it a more efficient sales channel, conducting bi-weekly communications with customers. It also aims to use FSIs (freestanding inserts) alongside other advertising and communications tools to drive traffic both to its stores and transactional website. "The awareness of the stores is lower than the brand," admitted Brown.

Back in the Gateway saddle is founder-chairman Ted Waitt who also assumes the role of ceo. "Ted's running advertising again,” said Bart loyally.

Ted’s marketing mix includes a raft of segmented offers geared to lifestyles, viral offers, rewards and incentives; and an acceleration of heavily advertised "beyond the box" deals hammering home a “Gateway Value Promise”.

Gateway first signalled a possible retreat inhouse in January when it fired incumbent McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. It then put a number of shops through the hoop – including Siltanen/Keehn of El Segundo, California, DiMassimo Brand Advertising, New York, and Publicis Groupe's Fallon in Minneapolis. The latter appeared to be poised for victory when talks broke down last week, citing “strategic differences”.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline