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Burnett Prevails in $100 Mil. Washington Mutual Pitch

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BOSTON Washington Mutual said it has selected Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett in Chicago as its advertising agency following a review. Estimated billings are $100 million.

The client also considered Publicis in Seattle in the final round of a competition led by Select Resources International of Santa Monica, Calif.

Washington Mutual split with Interpublic Group's Sedgwick Rd. of Seattle in September.

Burnett's selection capped a frequently confusing review process that saw several shops move in and out of contention. In fact, both Burnett and Publicis were reinstated after initially being eliminated in the semifinal round [Adweek Online, Nov. 1].

Their reinstatement followed the withdrawal IPG's Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif. [Adweek Online, Oct. 26]. Deutsch/LA pulled out of the Washington Mutual pitch to absorb work from General Motors' Chevrolet and mobile communications startup Helio, sources said.

In a statement, Washington Mutual chief marketing officer Genevieve Smith said, "We are excited about working with Leo Burnett and believe their creativity and extensive advertising expertise will further leverage our brand and better enable us to stand out from the competition."

Burnett USA president Rich Stoddart said, "Washington Mutual is a thought leader in the financial services industry. They have revolutionized banking and infused a once staid industry with a customer-centric approach that has become a model for others."

—Adweek staff report