WIEDEN & KENNEDY: BILLINGS GROWTH LEADS TO NEW OFFICES

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Wieden & kennedy's billings for 1997 grew to $877 million, up from $624 million the previous year, primarily reflecting growth from Microsoft Corp., from which it added business-to-business work, and Miller Brewing Co.'s Miller Genuine Draft. Another of Wieden's marquee clients, Coca-Cola Co., contributed to fatter billings with added assignments including its spots for Diet Coke on the Nagano Olympic Games. Although the shop suffered a blow with the entry of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners into the Nike stable (for women's and outdoor lines), Wieden's other billings from Nike were increased, resulting in minimal damage. Its b&w campaign for Miller Genuine Draft helped turn around a 5% average yearly decline for the brand from 1994 through 1996 into a half-point increase in a flat market.

LOOKING AHEAD

Wieden is beginning to deal with the international office issues independent shops face. It's opening its second European office, in London, to handle new Nike European billings. In the U.S., Portland, Ore.-based Wieden opened a full-service office in New York to handle ESPN and pitch new accounts.

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