Mercedes agency Springer talks partnership with True North

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Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, the agency for Mercedes-Benz in Germany, said it's in discussions with True North Communications, Chicago, about an international partnership. TN's FCB Worldwide is the agency for DaimlerChrysler in the U.S. True North declined comment.

Springer & Jacoby's goal is for True North to finance the establishment of a Europe-wide Springer & Jacoby network. "We are talking to several possible partners, including True North, but no decision has been reached yet,'' a Springer & Jacoby spokeswoman said. ``Talks are ongoing; we don't know when they will be finalized." In March, Springer & Jacoby confirmed it was in talks with Omnicom Group about Omnicom becoming a minority shareholder in the German agency. At the time, Omnicom - the holding company for DDB Worldwide, BBDO Worldwide and TBWA Worldwide - declined to comment on whether talks were being held. Omnicom-owned agency Merkley Newman Harty, which has offices in New York and Atlanta, handles the Mercedes-Benz account in North America. The main reason Springer & Jacoby has been looking for an international partner is that it hopes, with international help, to grab the European Mercedes-Benz budget.

Springer & Jacoby already is pitching for Daimler-Chrysler's European Smart car account against Leagas Delaney. Incumbent Weber Hodel Schmid, Zurich, is out of the review. Springer & Jacoby is considered to have a good shot at the European Smart budget, having won the Germany account earlier this summer.

Springer & Jacoby ranks No.8 in Germany with billings of $409 million in 1999. The agency set up a small London office in early 1999, which now employs about 30.

Negotiations for an international link for Springer & Jacoby were initiated and are being executed by founder Konstantin Jacoby. He does not want Springer & Jacoby to be part of a network and lose its identity. Instead, he is seeking a partner to finance the shop's European expansion.

Copyright August 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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