PetPlace on Prowl: 3 in Hunt for $25 Mil. Account




After BBDO’s Resignation, Bates, Ogilvy and DDB Contend
NEW YORK–Three agencies are vying for PetPlace.com, a $25 million account that BBDO won earlier this year, only to resign it weeks later.
The New York offices of Bates, Ogilvy & Mather and DDB are scheduled to pitch the business this Thursday. A decision is expected shortly afterward, said sources. Both creative and media duties are in play.
BBDO, here, resigned the account last month [Adweek, March 13], citing a potential conflict with existing global client M&M/Mars, sources said.
The agency landed the dot.com business in February, after the New York company approached several undisclosed shops. BBDO’s assignment included brand positioning, media planning and buying.
At the time, Bill Katz, president and co-CEO of BBDO, said, “We continue to believe there is both a need and an opportunity for dot.com companies to do great branding,” adding, “We are delighted to have the chance to work with PetPlace.com to help build their brand.”
PetPlace.com had hoped to launch advertising during the second quarter of 2000.
PetPlace.com, which is partly owned by Pets.com, bills itself as a site for pet lovers who seek veterinary advice and inspiration from other pet owners. It also offers content in the form of personal pet “success” stories.
The company is the brainchild of Dr. Jon Rappaport, a veterinarian who owns Florida Animal Health Hospitals, a group of animal hospitals in Florida. The site is connected to Pets.com via a “button” on Pets.com.
The review is being managed by Scott Messinger, PetPlace.com executive vice president, marketing and a former agency executive.
Messinger spent more than 25 years in advertising, holding account management positions at the former Ted Bates & Co. and Lowe & Partners/SMS, according to PetPlace.com’s site.
His client experience ranged from Colgate and Smirnoff to Xerox and Braun.