Billings up: Spike DDB, Bromley, IW soared in '04

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Many multicultural agencies had their best-ever year in 2004.

Spike DDB, New York, increased billings by 35% with six account wins totaling $12 million, and the agency's "Diner" spot for Pepsi-Cola was the first commercial by a multicultural agency to ever air during the Super Bowl. In the ad, TV sitcom star Mo'Nique played a warm-hearted waitress with an ulterior motive for consoling a customer who loses his girlfriend. Research indicated the spot was the strongest performer of all Pepsi brand creative in 2004.

IW Group, owned by Interpublic Group of Cos., won four of the Asian-American market's biggest pitches, including Wal-Mart Stores and MetLife, worth nearly $13 million. Based on those late 2004 wins, full-year spending will boost IW's billings by 70% in 2005.

Among Hispanic agencies, Bromley Communications, San Antonio, increased billings by 41% due to a merger with sibling Publicis Groupe agency Publicis Sanchez & Levitan, Miami, that puts the merged agency neck-and-neck with WPP Group's Bravo Group as largest Hispanic agency. In 2004, billings at two independents, the Vidal Partnership, New York, and Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston, grew by 41% and 36.4% respectively, followed by Omnicom Group's Dieste Harmel & Partners, Dallas, at 19%.

Figures are from submissions for Ad Age's Multicultural Agency of the Year contest. The winner will be announced Jan. 10.

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