Hotline

Beverage Promotions Go to BSMG
DALLAS–The Dallas area office of BSMG Worldwide has been chosen by United Distillers & Vintners North America to handle its public relations in the Southwest. The estimated $1 million account will cover media relations, special events and grass-roots efforts for Jose Cuervo Tequila, Smirnoff Vodka, Baileys Original Irish Cream and Beaulieu Vineyard Wines, in addition to responsible drinking programs. BSMG, a unit of True North Communications, is the first agency chosen by United Distillers for the region since the client split its national account into several in-market companies last year. “For us it’s an exciting win,” said BSMG general manager Ken Luce. “It’s a foray into consumer marketing and a platform for us to continue to grow.”
Drkoop.com Selects New York Partner
DALLAS–Lowe & Partners/SMS in New York bested Deutsch, also in New York, and GSD&M of Austin, Texas, to claim creative and media duties for drkoop.com, an online clearinghouse for health-related information founded in the name of ex-U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. Annual billings were estimated at more than $10 million. Lowe, which becomes the Austin-based client’s first ad agency, is expected to launch a fall campaign for the year-old Web site. “We have a very valuable brand in the name, and we will be extending to a global audience,” said Lauren Williams, drkoop.com’s director of marketing communications.
Balcom Lands Commercial Realtor
DALLAS–United Commercial Realty has retained The Balcom Agency of Fort Worth, Texas as its agency of record. United Commercial is the largest provider of retail real estate services in Texas. Estimated billings were not disclosed. The six-year-old Balcom Agency is a full-service marketing communications specialist with an emphasis on business-to-business accounts.
Online Lender Begins $50 Mil. Review
DALLAS–LendingTree.com has launched a review for its $50 million advertising account. The client, an online consumer loan provider in Charlotte, N.C., has sent out 10-20 requests for proposals nationwide. The incumbent is Frankfurt Balkind Partners in New York. The projected size of the budget has expanded significantly over last year’s media expenditure of $29,000. From January to May 1999, spending reached $1.04 million, per Competitive Media Reporting.
Long Haymes Carr Passes on Siemens
ATLANTA–Long Haymes Carr will not participate in the $5-10 million account review being conducted by Siemens Communications Devices. A representative of the Winston-Salem shop, which had been agency for the Austin, Texas, company when it was named Siemens Wireless Terminal and located in Richardson, Texas, said the cell phone maker had extended an invitation, but LHC declined to participate.