UseTheExperts.com Taps JWT

Shop to Partner With Site; National Campaign Stars Dodger
SAN FRANCISCO–UseTheExperts.com, an Internet directory that connects consumers with local businesses, selected J. Walter Thompson of Los Angeles to design a national ad campaign. Billings are estimated at $25-$30 million, sources said.
The decision followed an informal review, company officials said.
UseTheExperts.com, based in Westlake Village, Calif., is a Web directory of experts providing products and services in areas such as vehicles, insurance and medicine.
Company officials said the database eliminates the disappointment of looking for good businesses because each expert listed at the Web site guarantees customer satisfaction.
The site is expected to go live Nov. 12.
JWT said an upcoming campaign, expected in the next six months, will feature former Los Angeles Dodger Steve Garvey.
Ads will break first in California.
Peter Stranger, president of JWT, said in a statement announcing the agreement: “We are delighted to partner with UseTheExperts.com to maximize the power of their outstanding Internet branded business model.”
Alex Varonos, chairman and CEO of the company, said the startup was always interested in working with JWT because of its automobile work.
“Their experience in the dealer type networks clinched it,” Varonos said. “We’re dealing with businesses pulling together, trying to establish a corporate identity.
“When we sat in the meeting with them, when they saw the power of the presentation it was a like a lightbulb. They caught on to the concept immediately,” Varonos added.
JWT, which is not known for working with Internet startups, will hold an equity stake in the business.
JWT is an agency in the WPP Group plc., with billings of $9.5 billion. The group is the fourth-largest worldwide agency and second-largest in the U.S. K