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BBH Wins Noblestar

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Seeking to raise its profile in the worldwide marketplace, digital-business consultancy Noblestar has named Bartle Bogle Hegarty its lead agency.

BBH in New York, led by president Cindy Gallop, won the account, which includes media and creative, without a formal review. The Reston, Va.-based client conducted a "credentials search" for the new assignment that included One Smooth Stone in Glen Ellyn, Ill., and Arnold Worldwide in Boston. BBH will articulate a brand strategy and build a marketing campaign across several me-dia outlets starting next spring. Billings are estimated at $10 million.

"It will be a unique business solution," said BBH account director Julie Burke. "Total and all encompassing."

Marketing in the e-service cate-gory has typically come in two forms, said Burke: "credential selling" or costly over-the-top TV spots that do little to focus or clarify brand identity.

"We're looking at a huge amount of opportunity to do something compellingly different," said Burke. "The most important thing for a business-to-business client is understanding where communications can make a difference in their process."

Noblestar, with annual revenue of $58 million, provides technical and strategic support to corporations moving into e-commerce. Its efforts are increasingly focused on the wireless arena.

"I consider [BBH] a strategic communications firm more than an agency," said Noblestar chief marketing officer, Pauline Weger, referring to the shop's success with its wide array of international clients. "It is critical to us to have a strategy that plays out globally. This was not about an ad campaign; we had to find an agency that was extraordinar-ily strategic and globally oriented that could take us all the way from ob-scurity to fame."

Noblestar competes with e-service companies such as MarchFIRST, Sapient and Razorfish. Its target market is Fortune 1000 companies; current clients include Sony Entertainment, British Petroleum and iPIX. Noblestar's wish list is much grander, particularly in the European marketplace. "They feel like a brand that has been the best-kept secret in the industry, " said Burke. "Now, they've realized they need to be more client-facing to get all the dots connected."

BBH, based in London, also has of-fices in Singapore and Hong Kong.