Y&R in Line to Land Ortho Biz

A pitch for The Scotts Co.’s Ortho brand is expected to turn into a bounty for Young & Rubicam, which is in line to win the U.S. ad duties for Ortho, as well as the Miracle-Gro branded plants account in select U.S. markets and all of Scotts’ business in Canada, sources said. Total billings are esti-mated at $25-30 million.

Other contenders that pursued Ortho included Leo Burnett and DDB, sources said. On Friday, the Marysville, Ohio, client confirmed it was in discussions with Y&R, but said no assignments had been made. Sources indicated, however, that the agency and Scotts were in final contract negotiations.

The U.S. business would likely be managed by Y&R’s New York office; the Canadian ac-count would be serviced by Y&R in Toronto. The assignments include me-dia duties, which would be handled by The Media Edge.

Creative and media duties on other plant and lawn-care products, in-cluding Miracle-Gro and Turf Builder, continue to be handled by New York shops Wolf Group and R.J. Palmer, respectively.

Y&R’s pitch was steered by Stephanie Kugelman, CEO of the New York office, sources said. Other key players included Nancy Hallberg, senior partner, account management; Pat Doyle, a managing partner and director of business development; Bob Wyatt, man-aging partner-creative; and the creative team of art director Jay Russell and Wade Alger.

The pitch took place on the sixth floor of Y&R’s Madison Avenue office, and to welcome Scotts’ executives, Y&R laid sod between the elevator and a conference room, sources said. Enthusiasm about the pitch led to talks about the Canadian business and Miracle-Gro branded plants, sources said.