O&M scoops $80 million, pan-European launch of Clear Money

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LONDON--Clear Money, the U.K.'s first online payment system, has awarded Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide its $80 million, five-year contract to roll its service across Europe.

O&M was appointed following a three-way pitch against J. Walter Thompson Co. and Leo Burnett Co. "Sally [Netherwood, who led the O&M pitch] would have kidnapped my wife and kids to get [the business]," says KevinPotts, the marketing and sales director of Clear Money. "O&M was head and shoulders above everyone else ... in their fundamental grasp of new media."

All of O&M's divisions will be involved in the campaign, including Ogilvy Interactive, MindShare, Ogilvy Public Relations, Ogilvy One and Promotional Campaigns.

Clear Money's European debut will be in the U.K. market in September,when a multi-media campaign will break. A PR campaign and work on the Web site are already underway, says Mr. Potts.

Clear Money allows individuals to review, pay and file all regular and one-off bills at the click of a button on a single Web site. They will be able to access bills through mobile phones by the end of the year.

Similar billings services currently exist in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Backing the venture are investment fund The Carphone Warehouse Wire-less Internet Portfolio (WIP); private equity fund CapVest and Banc-Boston Capital, the private equity arm of FleetBoston Corp.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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