Y&R Continues Its Reinvention




Adds Dot.Com Pair, Herbal Supplement Maker to Client Roster
SAN FRANCISCO–Continuing to move away from its reputation as a traditional packaged goods shop, Young & Rubicam has added a pair of Internet companies and herbal supplement maker Nature’s Way to its client list.
The dot.com clients–General Magic’s Mytalk.com and Rentals.com–each have estimated billings of $15-20 million. Spending is undisclosed for Nature’s Way.
“The shift in our roster to a greater number of technology and Internet clients and fewer accounts like our former Clorox business signals a change in the identity of this agency,” said Austin McGhie, CEO of Y&R’s San Francisco office.
Contenders in the statewide Mytalk.com review included Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco.
Y&R will break a national TV, outdoor, radio, events and promotional campaign for Mytalk.com next month, said sources. The company, based at General Magic’s Sunnyvale, Calif., offices, offers free voicemail and e-mail. The work will be aimed at college students and young adults.
A similar audience will be targeted by Rentals.com, based in Redwood Shores, Calif. Slated to launch in March, the online service will seek to have the most complete rental inventory on the Web, said agency executives. The marketing mix is still under consideration.
Y&R won Nature’s Way after a review of West Coast shops. The Springville, Utah, company has done minimal advertising, but is gearing up for a national push this year, said sources.
The client and agency declined to offer further details.
Separately, Y&R split with software maker Novell after five years. Spending in the U.S. for the first nine months of 1999 was $14 million, per Competitive Media Reporting. The Provo, Utah, company moved its account to Sicola Martin, Austin, Texas.
Y&R picked up an estimated $115 million in new billings last year, primarily from dot.coms and tech accounts such as Sony and Covad Communications, said McGhie.
The shop launched an $8-10 million campaign for DSL Internet access provider Covad last fall [Adweek, Oct. 18]. The campaign, which consisted of TV, radio and print ads, showed humorous, exaggerated vignettes of computer users waiting for online information to appear on screen. In one TV spot, students in a yoga class fall over after waiting for a long time. The tagline was, “The Internet as it should be.” K