$35 Mil. Yahoo! Jumps to WPP’s Soho Square

NEW YORK Yahoo! has awarded its creative and media account to Soho Square, a new WPP Group agency, ending its longtime creative relationship with Havas’ Black Rocket Euro RSCG in San Francisco, a client representative confirmed.

Media chores on Yahoo! move to Soho Square from Interpublic Group’s Initiative Media in Los Angeles, not from Havas’ Media Planning Group, as Adweek Online incorrectly reported on Tuesday.

Soho Square will tap into appropriate disciplines across British holding company WPP to service the account, the rep said.

The decision by the Santa Clara, Calif.-based client follows a review that started several months ago, sources said. WPP’s Young & Rubicam in New York initially participated, but was eliminated in an early round, according to sources. WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather in New York, which handles the account of Yahoo! rival Terra Lycos, also was involved, sources said, though the agency denied its involvement. Euro RSCG defended, sources said.

In one phase of the review, the contenders were given a creative assignment for HotJobs.com, a property acquired by Yahoo! in February 2002, sources said. Omnicom Group’s Brand Architecture International in New York has handled HotJobs.com’s account for three years; it could not be immediately determined if that relationship will be affected.

The Yahoo! Web portal spent about $35 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, down from $40 million in 2001 and $55 million in 2000.

The agency change comes about a month into the reign of Cammie Dunaway, a 13-year Frito-Lay marketing executive, who was named Yahoo’s chief marketing officer in June. She replaced John Costello, who left last October after a one-year stint to become executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Home Depot in Atlanta.

This story updates an item posted earlier today.