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Despite an ego-bruising account loss, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, ended the century with yet another strong creative reel and a stronger new-business win record.

It started the year as the toast of the 1999 Super Bowl with spots for Cracker Jack and Anheuser-Busch, but by fall, it had lost one of its creative showcases, Nike women's and apparel business.

Overall, Goodby pushed its billings total to $671 million from $395 million, tapping the Internet account rush for players of primary promise -- particularly the $60 million eTrade account.

The agency landed its most significant win east of the Mississippi with the $80 million Discover Financial Services account, beating out Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA, among others. It snared the consolidated Hewlett-Packard Co. account at a critical time for the computer giant trying to regain momentum.

Goodby also beefed up its staff by bringing back Dave O'Hare as creative director, hiring planner Chris Chalk and building interactive capabilities. Despite the shop's growth, its principals have managed to retain the agency's character and its status as the creative gold standard for San Francisco, and arguably for most other cities as well.

Looking ahead

Goodby plans to take on the challenge of bringing the creative standards of online advertising up to those of traditional media.

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