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Call it Black Tuesday.

It was the day last week when more than 40 agencies around the world learned they were losing Big Blue. But for five shops, the shift was especially bruising:


For Lintas Worldwide, losing its $110 million IBM minicomputers, software and mainframe account was particularly cruel.

The loss follows the defections late last year of Diet Coke, Molson Breweries USA and IBM Personal Computer Co. U.S. gross income last year fell 8.8% to $166.3 million.

Lintas will survive, but in what form? A management shuffle, including shifting Lintas New York CEO Tony Miller to Toronto, will be accelerated.

Wells Rich Greene BDDP

Wells Rich Greene BDDP can ill afford another major loss.

The departure of IBM's $55 million in U.S. corporate and overseas assignments (the latter held by Paris-based BDDP Group) is the latest in a parade of losses during the past year that include Continental Airlines, Mobil Corp.'s Hefty bags, Miles Inc.'s Alka-Seltzer antacid, Reckitt & Colman and parts of Midas International Corp.'s accounts.

WRG's U.S. billings fell 4% last year to $882.6 million.

Merkley Newman Harty

The future is most uncertain for the fledgling Omnicom Group agency, propelled into the limelight last year by winning the $40 million IBM PC U.S. account.

Merkley has been roughly halved by the loss, and the WordPerfect Corp. account, now one of its largest, is currently inactive.

Although one industry executive said the loss could mean the beginning of the end for Merkley, President-Creative Director Parry Merkley and Jane Newman, director of strategic planning, said they're optimistic the IBM experience positions the agency well for the future.

DDB Needham Worldwide

Despite DDB Needham, Paris, losing its $50 million IBM PC Co. European account, the overall agency is perhaps the least dented of the losers. The New York-based agency can now more freely pursue Digital's account.

Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles

The loss of the $40 million Microsoft account-resigned so the network could handle IBM-has dealt a severe, but not fatal, blow to the office. Mattel is the largest account, with billings estimated at $55 million.

Gerald McGee, exec VP-managing director of the office, said he will try to replace the lost Microsoft billings and won't immediately lay off any of the 165 staffers.

Contributing to this story: Gary Levin, Cleveland Horton and Pat Sloan.

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