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Agency Rating: 2 1/2

It was a year Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide employees will never forget, although not for the usual reasons of account wins and losses.

It was a sadder occasion: Founder David Ogilvy died in July. The agency immortalized him with a logo name change to Ogilvy written in the ad giant's own hand.

The New York-based agency scored big early in the year with the $300 million government contract for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Other big gains included the $90 million Miller Lite account, $100 million worldwide BP Amoco and $75 million SAP.

Ogilvy also tapped its expertise (and early entry) in interactive last year to win Mothernature.com, Tickets.com and WebMD, each a $25 million account.

On the creative side, both Eastman Kodak Co. and the ongoing IBM Corp. work shone. American Express Co. continues to be strong, as does Maxwell House, but both could use some sprucing up.

Management changed little last year, but with an already solid team in place -- the triumvirate of Rick Boyko, Bill Gray and Carla Hendra -- no changes were needed.

Looking ahead

The industry is anxiously awaiting the new Miller Lite work scheduled for spring -- the first campaign likely will be an early indicator for the long-term relationship. Throughout the year, watch for shake-ups in the media department as WPP Group moves ahead with the global media buying agency MindShare in the U.S.

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