Omnicon Snags Mercedes-Benz Account

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Mercedes-Benz of North America, Montvale, N.J., has tapped Omnicon Group's Diversified Agency Services unit to handle its $125-million advertising and marketing account. Omnicon's Merkley Newman Harty's New York office will assume creative duties. Joe Eberhardt, VP-marketing at the luxury car marketer, said True North Communications' Foote Cone & Belding was also considered, but ``what tipped the hand in favor of DAS was we already had a relationship with them.'' Rapp Collins, New York, and The Designory, retain Mercedes' direct mail and collateral duties respectively. PentaCom, Troy, Mich., a unit of Omnicon's BBDO Worldwide, recently assumed media buying. The client terminated Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, last month, citing concerns about management and potential conflicts of interest with IPG and General Motors Corp.

Copyright March 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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