Chem Giant Picks IPG

NEW YORK Dow Chemical today said it has hired a team of agencies from Interpublic Group in a move to consolidate its advertising and marketing account, now handled by various marketing services companies.

The IPG team bested agencies from WPP Group in the final round.

Estimated billings are $25-30 million, according to sources.

In a statement, Dow said, it chose the IPG shops “to help accelerate [our] integrated corporate reputation strategy on a global basis. The company, which had been conducting an agency search for the past two months, wants key stakeholders to better understand how its products, people and actions contribute to human progress. Contractual and legal aspects of the relationship between Dow and IPG will be finalized in the coming weeks.”

For IPG, the team includes Foote Cone & Belding and Golin/Harris. WPP had Young & Rubicam, Mediaedge:cia, pollster Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, Landor Associates and Burson Marsteller (a roster shop). Teams from Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe were eliminated two weeks ago.

Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Detroit is also on the roster, but did not participate in the process.

Between 2000 and 2004, Dow spent less than $1 million annually in major measured media on corporate image ads in the U.S., according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Last year that figure jumped to more than $10 million, modest for a company of its size.

Dow, under CEO and chairman-elect Andrew Liveris, is said to be looking to reposition its brand, which in recent years has used “Living. Improved daily” as a slogan. And Dow executives think they can accomplish the task more efficiently if their business is consolidated at a single holding company, according to the request for proposal.

—Adweek staff report