CompuServe switches to DDB

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Less than six months after naming Martin/Williams its agency of record, CompuServe has switched the business to DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago.

CompuServe named DDB Needham agency of record on the estimated $35 million account, saying Martin/Williams would continue on "special projects."

DDB Needham had been a finalist in the pitch last year and was expected at the time to pick up the business. In naming the agency on Friday, CompuServe said it needed a partner with a global presence, something Minneapolis-based Martin/Williams does not have.

Martin will handle an image campaign for Project Wow, CompuServe's planned online service that will make its debut this spring.

The shift comes at an auspicious time for CompuServe; the company last October said it would increase marketing spending dramatically, including quadrupling national TV ad spending.

Scott Kauffman, CompuServe's VP-consumer markets and Project Wow, declined to comment on rumors that Martin/Williams was late producing work for the company.

"They've done good work so far for us with Wow," he said.

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