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3 Vie for Tinted Lens Company's $80 Mil. Account

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Tatham Among Contenders for Consolidated Global Business
CHICAGO--Three agencies are in contention to be Transitions Optical Inc.'s global agency of record, an account with billings sources estimated at $80 million.
Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, Saatchi and Saatchi and Young and Rubicam, both New York, are leading the pitches for their global networks, sources said.
The client's vice president of strategic marketing, Fady Sahhar, would not confirm the contenders. He said a decision is expected by May 1.
"We're looking for agencies that can operate on a global basis," he said.
The Pinellas Park, Fla., company, which manufactures photochromic lenses with a light-sensitive changing tint, is looking for a "global communications partner," Sahhar said.
With sales in 46 countries and advertising done in 23 of those, Sahhar said the company made the decision to consolidate the global marketing strategy, which had been diffused among several agencies, at one shop.
The incumbent shops are St. George Group in Pittsburgh; Saatchi & Saatchi, Europe; Y & R in Australia; and The Art Company, Sao Paolo, Brazil. Each of these shops also handles portions of the company's media buying.
"We just wanted to consolidate our brand on a global basis," Sahhar said. "We wanted to look and see if we could bring it all under one roof."
Domestically, Transitions Optical spent $20.5 million in 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Sahhar declined comment on the budget, but said, "The CMR numbers reflect some of what we do in North America, but that's not all that we do."
The assignment will include fully integrated creative, marketing services and media planning and buying, Sahhar said. "We're looking for the whole ball of wax," he said.
Founded in 1990, Transitions is a joint venture between PPG Industries in Pittsburgh and Essilor International in Charenton, France. K