YAHOO! SHIFTS MEDIA ACCOUNT TO MINDSHARE

WPP Agencies Pick up More of Online Giant's Assignments

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Yahoo! is moving its media business to WPP Group's MindShare and sibling interactive media shop mOne, a spokeswoman said. The media account had been with Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative Media.

Soho Square
In August, Yahoo! shifted its account out

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of Havas' Black Rocket, San Francisco, to Soho Square, a new integrated unit formed by WPP to service the online giant. Yahoo1 had said little since then as to which other WPP companies it would tap.

Black Rocket, part of the Euro RSCG Worldwide network, had worked with Yahoo! for nine years, while Initiative was Yahoo's media buying and planning for almost seven years. Initiative's contract expires Friday.

MindShare will handle mass-media outlets, while mOne -- formed in March as a joint venture company between direct services agency OgilvyOne and MindShare -- will handle all "off network" or non-Yahoo! online buys.

Soho Square is headed by Managing Partner Elizabeth Talerman, a former OgilvyOne executive. Ms. Talerman has yet to reveal the creative team on Yahoo!'s account, Soho Square's only client to date.

Yahoo! spent $41.2 million on measured media in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. It is not expected to spend significantly more in 2003, although Yahoo! is having a strong year. The company reported positive third-quarter figures this month and saw online advertising and marketing revenues rise 50% year-on-year to $245 million. Advertising revenue accounted for 61% of overall revenue in 2002.

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