Yahoo Brings Goodby Onboard for Current U.S. Brand Push

Longtime Shop Ogilvy to Continue With Global Efforts on Portal's $100 Million 'It's You' Rebranding Blitz

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Less than a month into its $100 million rebranding blitz, Yahoo has called in some surprise creative firepower for its U.S. ad efforts, Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

In a memo late yesterday, the internet giant said it decided to expanded its roster of agency partners to include San Francisco-based Goodby. "Goodby joins our portfolio of partners and assumes lead responsibility to take the company's creative, advertising, digital marketing and strategic planning to the next level."

The move means that Yahoo is shifting its longtime agency, WPP's Ogilvy & Mather, to focus on global advertising efforts, including the rollout of Yahoo's new campaign in markets such as Brazil, Hong Kong and France. Ogilvy, through its direct and digital media-buying unit Neo and with media-buying sibling Mindshare, will also run all media buying worldwide, the portal said, adding that in addition to Goodby and Ogilvy, it will continue to work closely with strategic branding firm Landor & Associates.

Representatives for Yahoo could not immediately comment. A Goodby spokeswoman declined to comment, and Ogilvy representatives could not be immediately reached.

The addition of Goodby seems a sudden change amid an already developed campaign, dubbed "It's You." The effort, which Yahoo claims stems from research it conducted that found users want the web to be more personally relevant, is composed of outdoor and print executions that spout generic-sounding affirmative slogans such as "There's a new master of the digital universe: You," while showing people dancing and skateboarding against colorful backgrounds. It also modified a version of the marketer's familiar yodel in TV ads.

In addition to bringing Goodby onboard, Yahoo also said it set up a brand advisory board to regularly convene and discuss Yahoo's marketing strategy going forward. On it will sit senior executives from each of its ad agency partners, as well as Yahoo Senior-VP Penny Baldwin and Exec VP-Chief Marketing Officer Elisa Steele.

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Michael Learmonth contributed to this report.

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