The appointment follows a four-way pitch including the Paris shops of Omnicom Group-owned BDDP@ TBWA, True North Communications-owned FCB and local independent Callegari Berville.
Havas Advertising-owned Euro RSCG Works and local independent Jean & Montmarin, both Paris, participated in an earlier pitch. The bulk of the $15 million budget will be used in an as-yet undetermined number of launches over the coming 18 months in other European markets with $2 million allocated for France.
Founded in 1997, Aquarelle.com posted 1999 sales of $1 million, about the same as leading rivals, including the Interflora and FTD networks.
The company raised nearly $30 million in venture capital earlier this year and is currently launching a new international network, Universalflower.com., which aims to bring together independent florists worldwide. The first two `virtual boutiques' in the new network have recently opened in Singapore and New York, with others expected in the coming year.
Network roll-out will take precedence over advertising and brand creation exercises in the short term, according to a company spokesman, after which a new international agency competition will likely be held for the Universalflower.com account.
Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.