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(May 3, 2001) -- Barnes & Noble has dropped its ad agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, and put the combined advertising business, worth from $30 million to $50 million, for its retail stores and Web site,, into review.

There are three undisclosed agencies in the mix. A spokesman at TBWA/Chiat/Day would not confirm the firing and would only say that the agency had not worked on the business for several months.

A spokeswoman for the Barnes & Noble retail division denied there was a review. She said that the company has taken its advertising in-house and is talking to agencies to do project work.

However, according to advertising executives, Barnes & Noble has folded its marketing departments for the Web site and retail stores into one unit and is actively searching for a new agency to handle the combined business. The majority of the assignment would handle retail. -- Richard Linnett

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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