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(June 25, 2001) -- DirecTV awarded an estimated $20 million to $25 million new direct-marketing assignment to Omnicom Group's Rapp Collins Worldwide after a review that also included Publicis Groupe's Publicis Dialog, Salt Lake City.

The project, which includes direct-response TV, direct mail and interactive marketing for DirecTV's direct-to-consumer sales channel, will be handled out of Rapp's Dallas and Los Angeles offices. Rapp Collins referred all calls to the client.

"We have reached a verbal agreement with [Rapp Collins], and we're moving ahead to sign a contract," said a spokesman for DirecTV, El Segundo, Calif.

The spokesman said Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles, will remain its lead agency for general advertising.

Deutsch's managing partner-general manager, Mike Sheldon, said, "It doesn't affect anything from a direct-marketing standpoint on the stuff that we've been doing," which includes loyalty, retention and customer communications.

Mr. Sheldon added that Deutsch declined to participate in the direct-sales project review. -- Cara Beardi

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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