Dot.coms Hire Shops

Three dot.com accounts with billings totalling $70 million a year logged on to Midwest agencies last week.
Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, bested competitors, including Cliff Freeman and Partners and DeVito/Verdi, both New York, for a $20 million account from ezgov.com, an Atlanta-based company that provides news and information about state, local and federal governments.
Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago beat undisclosed agencies for a $10-15 million account from iExplore, a Chicago-based online site dedicated to adventure travel. BBDO Chicago won a three-year, $100 million assignment from Quotesmith.com, an insurance price comparison service.
Ezgov.com, launched in March 1998, offers online access to various government services, from paying parking tickets to renewing a driver’s license.
“We feel sorry for the manufacturers of red tape because ezgov.com will render their product extinct,” said CL director of account management John Colansanti.
CL’s duties will include traditional and interactive advertising, as well as strategic counsel and planning.
CK’s iExplore expects to launch its Web site early next year with travel information on 140 countries. The site is backed by funding from Tribune Ventures, a unit of the Tribune Co., and Bear Ventures in New York.
BBDO’s Quotesmith campaign, expected to break later this month, is supported by funds from a $63 million initial public offering held in August.
–with Jenn Goddu and Aaron Baar