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After a three-year hiatus, DDB Needham Worldwide is returning to San Francisco, where the welcome mat might as well be stamped "Clorox."

The San Francisco office initially will service the newly won $70 million Clorox Co. account. Clorox moved its advertising to DDB Needham after 71 years with Foote, Cone & Belding, following the consolidation at FCB parent True North Communications of more than $300 million in worldwide spending from rival S.C. Johnson & Son.

In addition to last week's move of Clorox's U.S. billings to DDB Needham, the marketer also consolidated at that agency international billings for bleach and home cleaning brands previously handled by Young & Rubicam.

Y&R will continue to handle an estimated $70 million in Clorox spending.

Clorox's actions also affect the independent media planning unit the marketer created in January to handle all its brands. Diamond Media had consisted of representatives of FCB and Y&R; DDB Needham representatives will replace the FCB people.

Media buying will continue at Y&R.

"This is DDB's re-entry into San Francisco," said Ken Dudwick, senior VP-group creative director at FCB, who will be moving to DDB Needham to head the office. "Needham definitely wants a major office, and my feeling is Clorox would not want to be the only major player" in the office.

San Francisco is "a tough market," DDB Needham Chairman-CEO Keith Reinhard added from New York.

Also heading the new office will be Dan Odishoo, currently senior VP-group management supervisor on Clorox at FCB.

The move is part of a resurgence of DDB Needham in the West. Its Los Angeles office, with 1995 billings of $305 million, recently picked up $50 million in new business.

Mark Gleason contributed to this story.

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