PHILIPS SHIFTS $250 MILLION IN BILLINGS TO BURNETT

Accounts Were With Soon-to-Close D'Arcy

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- As expected, Royal Philips Electronics today shifted an estimated $250 million in advertising duties for its domestic appliance and personal care, medical systems and lighting divisions to Publicis Groupe network Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Norelco and Sonicare
Included in the move is the Philips lighting business, previously handled by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, New York, along with the accounts for electric shaver marketer Norelco and oral care company Sonicare, previously at D'Arcy's Los Angeles office.

D'Arcy was absorbed into Publicis following the acquisition of D'Arcy's former parent, Bcom3 Group, by the Paris-based Publicis. Following the acqusition, Publicis said it would shut down D'Arcy.

London office
The Philips account will be

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managed out of Burnett offices in London, Chicago and Hong Kong, with members from the original D'Arcy team, along with staffers from Leo Burnett and sibling units Arc and Masius and Manning Selvage & Lee. Barry Jones, global client managing director on the brand at D'Arcy, London, will continue leading the account at Burnett.

"The fact that we can maintain the world-class, integrated communications team we had in place and augment it with the added resources of the Leo Burnett network has made the difference in the selection process," Enderson Guimaraes, head of global brand management for Royal Philips, said in a statement.

Considered other options
"They [Philips] certainly considered other options," said Leo Burnett Worldwide CEO Linda Wolf. "Partnering with D'Arcy was a great way for exposing them to Burnett and once most companies become exposed to the depth of our services, they want to work with us." Ms. Wolf said it was too early to say how many D'Arcy staffers would make the move to Burnett.

PhiliShave is Norelco's Amsterdam-based parent, while Sonicare, based in Snoqualmie, Wash., is part of the Philips Oral Healthcare unit. The toothbrush brand comprises a small portion of the overall Philips business. Sonicare was the last remaining account at D'Arcy's Los Angeles office. Since the end of the year, four other D'Arcy accounts have shifted to Dentsu-owned Colby & Partners, Los Angeles. With a 15% share, Dentsu is the largest shareholder in Publicis Groupe.

D'Arcy also completed the latest rounds of ads for Norelco's shavers, including TV and cinema ads that tied into the latest James Bond flick, Die Another Day. Other ads show stubbly men in dentist chairs who get extra-close-and-comfy power shaves. The agency also brought back Santa for the electric shaver's recent holiday promotion.