Amazon.com Reviews

E-tailer Amazon.com has put its global ad account in play, but is limiting the players to U.S.-based shops.

TBWA\Chiat\Day, DDB and McCann-Erickson are participating, sources said. Young & Rubicam was invited but declined due to a potential conflict with Sears.

Incumbent FCB Worldwide in San Francisco resigned the business following the client’s decision to review. “We didn’t agree with what they were doing, and it was a great moment to end the relationship,” said agency president and CEO Simon Bolton. “It was an amicable parting. If we had taken part [in the review], I don’t know if we would have prevailed, but this wasn’t a performance issue.”

The dot-com’s four agencies in Europe and Japan will not participate in the review.

“Our business is growing exponentially worldwide, and we recently launched in Japan and France,” said Becky Roberts, global brand marketing director for the Seattle-based client. “We thought the best thing was to find a global agency.”

Roberts declined to give worldwide billing levels. In the U.S., Amazon spends $35 million-plus, according to Competi- tive Media Reporting.

Amazon.com averages more than a million unique daily users, according to research firm Media Metrix. From January to October of this year, it averaged about 14 million total visitors a month.

“What is motivating everybody in the second half of the year is profitability,” noted a dot-com ad executive about the Amazon.com search. “When you look at Amazon, they are long past the point where they’re profitable in their core book and CD businesses. It’s their new businesses that must do well.”