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$40 Mil.+ Avaya Selects Saatchi

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NEW YORK Saatchi & Saatchi has landed global creative duties on Avaya after a review, the Publicis Groupe agency confirmed.

Avaya's previous global lead agency, Interpublic Group's McCann Erickson, which worked on the account since 2002, did not defend.

Estimated billings on the business are $40-50 million.

Saatchi's assignment is broader than McCann had been in the past. It includes advertising—both corporate image and product specific—customer relationship management efforts, and promotional and event marketing. Interactive duties remain at Interpublic's R/GA.

In the U.S., major media spending on the brand has declined in the past three years, from nearly $30 million in 2003 to about $20 million in 2004 and less than $10 million last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Other review contenders could not be immediately determined.

A separate review of global media duties is said to be under way. IPG's Universal McCann is the incumbent. Contenders in that contest could not be ascertained.

The creative account will be led by Saatchi in New York, with support from offices in the U.K., Germany, India, China and Brazil. The account chief will be group account director Michael Zuna, who also handles the shop's global BASF business.

"We're thrilled to welcome another number one, category leader to our roster," said Saatchi New York CEO Mary Baglivo. The agency's first work is expected in August.

Avaya chief marketing officer Jocelyne Attal said Saatchi "captured our spirit of innovation and [its] worldwide integrated marketing network truly provides the global reach our business demands."