Lindt & Sprungli Taps Gotham

Gotham last week added a small but potentially high-profile account, overcoming Earle Palmer Brown for the $1-3 million advertising account of Lindt & Sprungli USA.

Gotham, a New York-based unit of the Interpublic Group of Cos., outpaced crosstown shop EPB in the final round of a three-month review guided by Pile and Co., the Boston consulting company.

The client in Stratham, N.H., the U.S. arm of the Swiss chocolatier, has done little media advertising in recent years and there was no incumbent on the account.

Despite the modest budget, the slow business climate and Lindt’s internationally recognized name inspired several sizable players to participate in the pitch.

Gotham, in fact, was one of the largest contenders, claiming more than $500 million in annual billings. Runner-up EPB is similarly sized. DiNoto Lee, Pedone & Partners and Wolf Group, all of New York, were eliminated earlier in the competition.

Past advertising, done mainly in the mid- and late-1990s, promoted the client’s retail stores and seasonal sales, but Gotham’s mission is to forge a lasting image for the Lindt brand. Efforts will likely tout Lindt chocolate bars as well as the company’s 35-40 retail stores, located primarily in the northeastern U.S.

The agency already has ties to the region, working on the Powerstreet online brokerage business of Fidelity Investments. But the shop was dealt a blow last moth when Boston-based Gillette moved creative chores for its $80-100 million oral care products from Gotham to BBDO.

Lindt has switched shops with some frequency. In the late 1990s, it traded in Gearon Hoffman, Boston, for the now-defunct Leonard/Monahan, Providence, R.I., before working on projects with Clarke Goward, Boston.