EarthLink will move account to TBWA

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EarthLink Inc., Atlanta, plans to move its account to TBWA/Chiat/Day, said an executive familiar with the situation. The shift follows creation of a major alliance in January between the No. 2 Internet service provider and Apple Computer, Cupertino, Calif. In February, EarthLink and MindSpring merged, and the combined account, with anticipated spending of $50 million, was awarded to BBDO West's San Francisco office. TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, is Apple's agency of record, and Apple Chairman Steve Jobs is a close friend of TBWA Worldwide Chairman-Chief Creative Officer Lee Clow. An EarthLink spokesman said: ``We don't have any news to put out right now.'' So far this year, EarthLink has been running an outdoor and national TV campaign, with spending of about $20 million, tagged ``It's your Internet. We just connect you to it.'' Commercials featured odd Internet sites, such as one in which a person's thumb performs a scene from ``Titanic.'' Apple joins other computer marketers in actively promoting Web service to customers. For example, Gateway has a deal with America Online to offer a custom-branded ISP.

Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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