HOME DEPOT TAPS DDB FOR DIRECT MARKETING

Agency to Handle Variety of Strategic and Creative Assignments

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Home improvement giant Home Depot propped up DDB Worldwide, Chicago, naming the Omnicom Group shop its direct marketing agency for strategic and creative efforts on a variety of assignments.

While billings weren't disclosed and such services typically are fee-based, one executive close to the marketer said the agency's fees are to be equal to that of a $15 million to $20 million account. The agency will be assigned to handle efforts for retail, at-home and credit-marketing services, among others.

"DDB was the right

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choice for our direct needs because of their depth of resources and understanding of the direct business, as well as their integrated approach," Katie Enyon, Home Depot's direct marketing director, said in a statement.

DDB prevailed in the six-month bid over a pool of finalists that included Interpublic Group of Cos. shops Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., and Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, which teamed with AnalyticI, both New York; and independent Digitas, Boston.

Richards Group, Dallas, another independent, handles national advertising.

As competition for do-it-yourself spending has increased among home improvement retailers, companies have begun looking for new ways to connect to customers. In recent months, Sears, Roebuck & Co. has committed to increasing its database and relationship marketing efforts, while Ace Hardware Corp. recently assigned its estimated $30 million creative account to Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

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