TBWA/Chiat/Day Lost Account After Only Two Months

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Siebel Systems is poised to award its global advertising account to Publicis Groupe's Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, according to people familiar with the situation.

Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa Del Rey, Calif., worked on the account for two months and was entering production on a campaign for the software marketer when Siebel abruptly pulled the plug. Publicis is said to have won the account without a review. Siebel executives did not immediately return calls.

Siebel spent an estimated $35 million to $40 million globally on advertising in 2000. The budget for the new effort was unclear.

Siebel has been looking to execute an integrated marketing communications program and has had a turbulent agency history. In October 1999, its advertising account was with Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, and San Francisco. It jumped to WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York, for a short time and to sibling WWP shop Cole & Weber/Red Cell, Seattle, before landing at TBWA.

On Monday, Andrew Salzman, vice president-brand strategy, advertising and integrated marketing communications, said, "We're looking at what we need to do to do a fully integrated marketing communications effort." Mr. Salzman, a former Kodak and Compaq Computer Corp. marketing executive, declined to call the process a review, instead, referring to it as a "strategic planning exercise."

Mr. Salzman declined to specify agencies participating in the process. TV ads from Cole & Weber for Siebel ran this weekend in heavy rotation during the NCAA tournament on CBS and on other programs.

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