“I need to change a letter on this label. Can you guys do that?”
How a small change evolved into a big account.
Often what you know is as important as whom you know. And some times you just get lucky. Yes, it helps to know a friend at an international pharmaceutical company. It was 1975, and Abbey Mecca was moving steadily into the 6th year of operation when Nick Mecca, agency president at the time, received a call from a friend, who was head of Canadian operations for Westwood Pharmaceuticals, an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Buffalo, NY. The company is now known as Westwood Squibb Pharmaceuticals Division of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Nick’s friend had a colleague at Westwood, a product manager, who was in a bind. A single letter on the original art for a product label was defective and needed to be corrected quickly to meet a printing and manufacturing deadline. Nick’s friend recommended that the product manager call Abbey Mecca to ask if the agency could make the necessary change to the art. Fortunately, the agency was able to provide new artwork in time to meet the product manager’s deadlines.
“I remember it was such a minor change”, commented Nick Mecca, “that we wouldn’t charge Westwood for the work.”
The agency’s responsiveness and ability to help was not forgotten. That same product manager asked Abbey Mecca for help with sales collateral materials and other marketing communications for all the brands in his portfolio. The agency began working for Alpha Keri Bath Oil, Keri Lotion, Piz Buin Sunscreen, Fostex, PreSun and other products as well. Soon, other brand managers at Westwood began turning to Abbey Mecca for help with everything from retail displays to product labels, packaging and sales support, merchandising and collateral materials. View an original agency Production log here. “We were getting an incredible amount of work from Westwood. It elevated to the point that Westwood’s national agency of record (at the time it was JWT) complained to the top brass at Westwood” commented Mecca.
For four more years, Abbey Mecca continued to provide a variety of design and marketing services to Westwood. “We’re quite proud of both the quality of work and the level of account service we provided. We learned a great deal from the Westwood relationship and at the end of the day, having the opportunity to work with the talented people at Westwood was most rewarding.” added Mecca.
As the agency celebrates fifty years in business, we are grateful and say thank you to the people at Westwood that entrusted their brands to Abbey Mecca. From 1975 to 1980, Abbey Mecca & Company completed more than 250 advertising and marketing projects for Westwood Pharmaceuticals.