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PARIS -- France Telecom has moved its business-to-business advertising account from Omnicom Group-owned BBDO Corporate, Paris, to sister agency DDB & Co., Paris.

DDB picks up the undisclosed account, which covers all national advertising aimed at small business and corporate clients, after pitching against incumbent BBDO as well as Paris shops of fellow Omnicom agency TBWA Corporate, Havas Advertising's creative hot shop Devarrieuxvillaret, and Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi.

Winning the business-to-busines competition could give DDB an advantage over rival agencies in future pitches for other business at France Telecom, the country's largest advertiser.

The former monopoly spent more than $225 million in 2000 for brand advertising and campaigns related to fixed telephone and Internet operations, while its mobile phone subsidiary spent an additional $100 million, according to statistics from media monitor TNS Secodip.

The review is part of a wider agency shuffle that has also seen France Telecom consolidate all advertising for its nation-leading mobile phone division with Havas-owned BETC Euro RSCG, Paris, as part of the pending move to launch the Orange brand in France. -- Lawrence J. Speer

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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