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DARMSTADT -- Wella, the German haircare giant, has placed its estimated $100 million global advertising business into Koblenz-based Select Communications.

Other agencies competing for the business included two Hamburg-based agencies, Bcom3 Group's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Springer & Jacoby, part-owned by True North Communications, and two Frankfurt agencies, Bcom3's Michael Conrad & Leo Burnett and Cordiant Communications Group's Bates Worldwide.

Wella's 2 1/2-year relationship with Jung von Matt, Hamburg, ended in January due to creative differences. Although the incumbent's contract ends December 2001, Select Communications takes over the business from April 1.

Select is setting up a "Wella Creative Unit" team at its Berlin, Hamburg and New York offices to handle the international business. In markets where Select has no offices, the campaign will be adapted by BBDO Worldwide's offices or local agencies that have been working for Wella in the past. BBDO handled the Wella global account for about five years during 1990s.

Omnicom Group-owned Optimum Media Direction handles Wella's budget in most markets, but not all.

Select maintains a low profile in Germany, calling itself "la petite agency worldwide." It also has offices in Paris and London. The 200-strong agency posted billings of $200 million last year. Clients include Coty's range of fragrances internationally and fashion designer Joop.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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