ASK JEEVES OPENS AGENCY REVIEW

Incumbent TBWA/Chiat/Day to Defend

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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Ask Jeeves, which is in the process of being acquired by Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, has begun a review for its advertising account, the company said.
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The search engine's agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco, will defend the account, the two said. Ask Jeeves in recent months has significantly increased its ad spending, from $1 million in 2004 to $7 million for the first three months of 2005.

TV ad campaign
Ask Jeeves, long since overshadowed by rival search engines Google and Yahoo, earlier this year went back on TV with an ad campaign after a four-year hiatus. The campaign was used the tagline "Ask Jeeves. And get what you're searching for."

In March, Mr. Diller, former head of Paramount and Fox movie studios, announced he intended to acquire Ask Jeeves for $1.95 billion. Recently, he has indicated an interest in building up a Web-based media empire, with reports IAC is interested in acquiring Cnet. IAC already owns a number of prominent Internet companies, including Expedia.com, Match.com, Hotels.com, Citysearch, Lending Tree and Ticketmaster. Mr. Diller also sold his stake in Vivendi Universal Entertainment for $3.4 billion, signaling an interest on pursuing Web properties.

A spokeswoman issued a short statement saying Ask Jeeves "is currently in an agency review process for the handling of its ad account" and that TBWA "is participating in the review." The company declined to answer further questions about the timetable for the review, which agencies beyond TBWA which will be invited, and whether there is a review consultant.

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