LEBER KATZ BASKS IN TROPICANA

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FCB/Leber Katz Partners is on a roll. The agency's surprise win of Seagram Co.'s $25 million Tropicana account last week is Leber Katz's second new assignment for more than $20 million in billings in four months and poises the New York unit of True North Communications to pass $1 billion in billings this year.

Leber Katz in the past three years has boosted billings dramatically, from $548 million in 1992 to $930 million last year.

This year's additions include $30 million from Advance Nutrition Foods, plus work from Campbell Soup Co. (Swanson's) and Merck & Co. (Fosamax, an anti-osteoporosis drug). The agency is also a finalist in the $40 million Dunkin' Donuts review.

The only major account loss Leber Katz has suffered this year has been Marriott Corp., which withdrew its $9 million account.

With Tropicana, Leber Katz gets the No. 7 grocery brand in the U.S. Tropicana ended a 10-year relationship with Leo Burnett Co. in June after the Chicago agency won Coca-Cola Co.'s Fruitopia account.

Leber Katz will handle advertising for Tropicana Pure Premium juices, Tropicana Season's Best and Tropicana Twister products.

Lord, Dentsu & Partners, Los Angeles, retains responsibility for Seagram's Dole brands. Seagram had said Lord Dentsu and other Seagram shops would be invited to pitch the Tropicana account, and some executives from those agencies reacted angrily to news that a non-roster shop had quietly been let into the pitch.

"We broadened the search and brought in FCB," said Mark Gutsche, VP-communications with Tropicana. "Their list of brands is awfully impressive."

There was more good news for Chicago-based True North last week, as it won the remainder of Sizzler International's $20 million account. Foote, Cone & Belding's Los Angeles office, which won creative responsibilities for Sizzler restaurants in July, captured media planning duties from Dailey & Associates. TN Media, Chicago, assumes all media buying duties.

But there was a cloud behind the silver lining in the West, where FCB is laboring to save its 25-year relationship with Mazda Motor of America and the car marketer's estimated $200 million account.

Contributing to this story: Ira Teinowitz, Jeanne Whalen and Bradley Johnson.

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