BBDO WINS AOL'S BROADBAND AD ACCOUNT

Will Compete for Additional Corporate Assignment

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide, New York, today was named agency of record for America Online's AOL Broadband service.

While the company declined to specify the budget for AOL Broadband, people familiar with the matter said the project represents one-third to a half of an estimated $150 million budget.

Yet to be decided is another part of the original request for proposal, a corporate branding assignment. Spending on that assignment is unknown. BBDO and independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., will face off for the assignment in presentations that will occur next month.

Marketing focal point
In the meantime, BBDO will focus on its broadband assignment. Branding broadband content and service is the focal point for all of the online giant's marketing going forward, said Len Short, executive vice president of brand marketing for the online unit of AOL Time Warner. "It's AOL's first-ever marketing push for broadband," he said.

BBDO has been working with the online

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service on a project basis since January, developing advertising for AOL's entertainment properties, including AOL Music brands like Sessions@AOL and Broadband Rocks. The AOL For Broadband assignment includes all of the entertainment work BBDO has been doing.

Crispin's Moviefone work
One of the finalists in the review, Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami, partly owned by Maxxcom, is working on AOL's Moviefone property and an extensive in-cinema marketing effort. Mr. Short declined to specify a budget for the project, which was awarded two weeks ago without a review. He also declined to confirm a budget figure for AOL Broadband.

Other contenders in the broadband review were Wieden; Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, New York; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Hill, Holliday, Conners, Cosmopulos, New York; and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York.

BBDO's broadband work will debut during the March 23 broadcast of the Academy Awards. "You will see an AOL that you never saw before, completely different," said Bill Katz, president-CEO, BBDO Worldwide, New York. He declined to offer details or insights into the approach.

"This is one of the most satisfying assigments we've had in years," Mr. Katz said. "We didn't win the entire assignment, but we're expanding our relationship with the broadband product and it's much larger than we expected."

'Blew us away'
"They [BBDO] came in and blew us away," Mr. Short said of the review presentations. BBDO presented on March 6. "They literally had the conference room rocking," he said, though he provided scant details.

BBDO pitched with sibling @tmosphere, its interactive division, and partnered with Arnell Group, New York, to come up with a guerilla marketing plan.

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