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[london] Roche Macaulay & Partners, Toronto, has been named International Agency of the Year by Advertising Age International.

The agency's biting creative style for such multinational clients as Reebok Canada, Mercedes-Benz Canada, Ikea Germany and others earned Roche Macaulay the award, which is based on creative quality.

Selected as runners-up in the competition were Mother and M&C Saatchi, both located here.

Mother is a quirky renegade that runs an "ideas factory" to produce ads for Unilever and Coca-Cola Co.; M&C Saatchi is justifiably arrogant, having boosted its billings to $340 million in just three years with such flagship accounts as British Airways.

Roche Macaulay, a midsize Canadian shop overshadowed by a dominant U.S. market and operating in a country not known for inspiring creative work, saw its billings increase by 11%, to $90 million, in 1998 after enduring several months of management turmoil following a 1996 minority sale to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Group.

For 1999, founder and President-Creative Director Geoffrey Roche is keen to establish a U.S. office to pursue U.S. clients.

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