LBWORKS WINS EARTHLINK $40-$50 MILLION ACCOUNT

First Major Win for Leo Burnett Unit

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Following a hotly contested review, Internet service provider Earthlink, Atlanta, selected Bcom3 Group's LBWorks to handle its $40 million to $50 million creative account, a spokesman for the client said.

"This is a great win for [LBWorks], it's a great win for Leo Burnett," said Leo Burnett Worldwide President Bob Brennan. "They beat very strong competition."

Major win
It is the first major review win for the technology-focused advertising unit of Leo Burnett USA, which beat sibling D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, and MDC Communications Corp.'s Crispin Porter Bogusky, Miami. Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., was cut from the final round.

Chicago-based LBWorks

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had missed out on two other major tech-related pitches. The shop was cut from the ongoing Qwest Communications bid, and it lost the Advanced Micro Devices review to Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, in a shootout.

The win legitimizes Mr. Brennan's strategy to separate the unit within Leo Burnett to allow it the freedom to "innovate and drive" different approaches. LBWorks, formerly Leo Burnett Technology Group, was revamped to apply "old school" branding to technology clients.

"This is a transactional business in a highly branded environment," said Jeffrey Jones, LBWorks president-CEO. "You have to build the brand and you have to drive sales. ... You can't in this business environment choose one over the other. That's what makes this one [win] so special."

New work
New work reinforcing the brand's reliability and worry-free connection is expected to break in late summer for TV, radio, print and out-of-home media.

"We're trying to package that in a message that's more inviting to get people to make the switch [from competing ISPs] instead of just playing" the game of offering free deals to entice consumers, Mr. Jones said.