B-to-B print push: FedEx gives ad to small shop

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FedEx has given its latest national print campaign to a small Memphis shop, taking a piece of work away from longtime agency of record, Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide.

Signature Advertising, an eight-year-old agency a stone's throw from FedEx's world headquarters, created the campaign targeted at small-to-medium sized businesses, a segment FedEx has labeled as a growth area for the company.

It is not known whether this assignment will lead to a bigger role for Signature, which has done work for the shipping giant for several years. Prior to this assignment, the 38-person shop worked with FedEx's sports-marketing division and produced billboards in three markets pertaining to its sponsorship with the National Football League.

But its assignments have never been of this magnitude. "I think it's safe to say that," said Charles Marshall, co-founder of Signature.

BBDO had a slice of its Pizza Hut business briefly taken away-and returned-by Wieden & Kennedy earlier this year and also lost its $30 million Duracell battery account to another small agency, Acme Idea Co. in Norwalk, Conn. FedEx has been a client for 14 years.

BBDO, which is handling the media planning and buying for this latest print effort, referred calls to FedEx, where a spokesman said: "BBDO is our agency of record. This project is a print campaign that we wanted to get some different ideas about, but BBDO is our agency of record."

Billings were not disclosed. FedEx spent $75 million last year in measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, but only $6.5 million of that was for print.

Signature's campaign, featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Time Inc.'s Time, Washington Post Co.'s Newsweek and Dow Jones & Co.'s Wall Street Journal, focuses on diverse customers and describes a different FedEx shipping solution. The ads tout FedEx ground service, international network, FedEx.com and other services.

The campaign is called "The Voice of the Customer," but each of the nine ads ends with the line "Don't worry. There's a FedEx for that," which is BBDO's tagline from its TV work.

Mark Henry, Signature's president and co-founder, added that three to six more executions are in development on the campaign.

"The ad department at FedEx gave us a chance to show them some ideas," Mr. Henry said. "They wanted to focus on small business and one of the reasons they were interested in us was, we are a small business ourselves. We have that unique perspective."

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