Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG was having a promising year until it lost the North American portion of Philips Electronics. In a surprise move, Philips dropped Messner's parent, Havas Advertising's Euro RSCG Worldwide, in December.
The New York-based agency showed deepening creative depth in its striking Evian "L'Original" print work for client Great Brands of Europe; quirky commercials featuring the Blue Man Group performance art trio for Intel Corp.'s Pentium III; and a racy print campaign for new client Diamond.com.
Messner wooed Ken Segall to become a partner and worldwide creative director on Intel from his post as creative director for TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif. Four others were added to the partner roster from the management ranks.
The shop also expanded its growing integrated marketing services with the launch of Fuel North America. The unit landed its first client, software marketer Vindigo. Its "Revolvolution" integrated campaign for Volvo of North America's S60 launch drew 40,000 to the Revolvolution.com Web site in its first week.
Messner's $20 million win of the now-defunct Brandwise.com was easily written off as the agency built new business momentum, snagging $135 million in new work for Select Comfort, Doctors Associates-owned Subway Restaurants and Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo Europe. Existing clients New Balance and Universal Studios added assignments as well.
WorldCom put its $70 million MCI-branded consumer business in review, but later tabled it. WorldCom is expected to reduce MCI consumer ad spending in 2001.
Still stinging from the Philips loss, look for Messner and the Euro network to eagerly pursue another major electronics account.
Last year's rating: 2