Draft to Be Lead Agency

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Computer Associates is expected to name Interpublic Group of Cos. to handle its global advertising and marketing duties, according to executives familiar with the matter.

Computer Associates, which makes computer systems management software, has pulled its advertising account from WPP Group's Y&R Advertising and media buying agency Mediaedge:cia. Computer Associate's spending in measured media was $45.8 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. For January through July, CA spent $20.4 million. Total global spending is pegged as high as $150 million.

Other IPG shops
Interpublic's marketing services firm Draft, New York, is expected to be the lead agency on the global account. Other Interpublic shops, including Jack Morton Worldwide, New York, will handle work as well, an executive said. Interpublic CEO David Bell was intimately involved in this process.

One executive said Computer Associates has been thinking about shifting more of its marketing budget toward direct and away from general advertising.

This marks the second time this year Draft has won substantial general advertising business from a major marketer. It picked up print duties and other assignments earlier this year from Bank of America, an existing client.

A representative for Y&R said no change has been made. Representatives for Computer Associates and Draft declined to comment. A spokesman for Interpublic couldn't be reached.

Accounting scandals
Rocked in recent years by accounting scandals, Computer Associates, based in Islandia, N.Y., last month named longtime IBM executive John Swainson as president and CEO-elect, replacing former CEO Sanjay Kumar, who was indicted in September by the Justice Department on charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. Mr. Kumar has pleaded not guilty. The Justice Department investigation into the company's accounting practices began in 2002; the company in the fall said it would pay $225 million into a restitution fund for shareholders.

Joan Blackwood, senior vice president of global marketing, joined Computer Associates in March 2004 from FleetBoston Financial, where she was senior vice president and director of strategic marketing. She became marketing chief in June. Fleet was a client of Interpublic's Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, Boston.

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