DIRECTV MOVES $200 MILLION ACCOUNT TO DEUTSCH

Former Agency to Handle Creative and Media

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- DirecTV is moving the bulk of its $200 million general ad account and its media buying and planning business to onetime agency Deutsch, the Interpublic Group of Cos.' agency confirmed.

Deutsch’s New York and Los Angeles offices will handle the work, much of which had been with Omnicom Group’s BBDO, New York. BBDO sibling OMD had handled media duties.

After creating popular spots featuring celebrities reading DirecTV fan mail, Deutsch lost the satellite TV provider’s business in 2004.

Winning back old accounts
Deutsch, positioning itself as the Lazarus of ad agencies, has recently risen from the dead on two seemingly long-lost accounts. It won back Ikea in January and now it’s back in the frame on DirecTV.

Five years after it was fired, Deutsch netted Ikea’s $60 million U.S. account, thanks to CEO Linda Sawyer’s close relationship with the Swedish furniture maker -- and despite Donny Deutsch’s dismissal of its array of Kramfors, Klippans and Nordens as “crap” in the pages of Playboy.

Deutsch has stayed close on DirecTV, too. As recently as six or seven months ago, DirecTV invited Deutsch into a quiet shootout won by BBDO. The result was spots featuring a new slogan, “Somebody up there loves you.”

Deutsch will handle media as well as creative. "We think there are great synergies between media buying and planning and creative. They're inextricably linked. They need to be connected, and that's why we put both with Deutsch," said Jon Gielselman, DirecTV senior VP, advertising and public relations.

A boon after client defections
The new account will be a boon for the onetime hotshop that’s been struggling of late with client defections. Among those making the exodus were Bank of America, Revlon, Mitsubishi Motors North America and the Coors Brewing Co.

DirecTV spent $204 million on measured media in 2004 and about $100 million the first half of 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. New Exec VP-Chief Marketing Officer Paul Guyardo recently joined from Kmart.

BBDO referred calls to the marketer.

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