Pfizer/Pharmacia win eases pain of dot-com demise

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Just over a year after Interpublic Group of Cos. acquired Deutsch, the New Year-based agency appears little affected as a result of the purchase. Despite a difficult year, Deutsch landed the Pfizer/Pharmacia Corp. Valdecoxib business (which is likely to be as big as Pharmacia's $80 million-to-$100 million Celebrex business), and added to the $50 million Zoloft account won in 2000. Other new clients included Verizon Information Services and J.D. Edwards. Losses reflected the dot-com demise: Homeruns.com and Wingspan.com both closed, while Reflect.com took its work in-house. Ads for DirecTV, which focuses on the quirky customer encounters of a DirecTV installation man, is among the shop's strongest in 2001. Yet even Deutsch suffered: The agency closed its Boston office in June and laid off about 30 staffers in November.

LOOKING AHEAD

Rumors abound about the future of agency CEO Donny Deutsch. After having sold a significant share of stock in Interpublic, there was conjecture about whether he would stay around or split. Then again, he may be in position for an even bigger role at Interpublic.

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