St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, Fla., landed agency of record status for CompuServe Corp.'s new Internet-based product, dubbed "C from CompuServe." Industry sources estimated billings at approximately $5 million.
The agency was chosen over "a handful" of undisclosed shops from across the country, said Bob Taylor, manager of market planning for CompuServe in Columbus, Ohio. "[St. John & Partners] understood how we were trying to position this product" to business professionals and technical users, Taylor said.
Scheduled to launch in the U.S. and Canada by year's end, the product will make available for the first time to Internet users more than 500 of the client's interactive communities, called "Forums," plus research databases and links to topically related external Web sites.
In addition to handling print media buying, collateral and creative development for C from CompuServe, St. John has assisted the company with product identity, developing the tagline, "The Net's best thing." A media push in publications like The Wall Street Journal and business magazines will break by the beginning of 1998, Taylor said.
The assignment comes amid other recent new business wins for St. John, including local accounts World Golf Village and ABC affiliate WJXX-TV, plus ongoing projects for an undisclosed client. The agency estimated its total 1997 billings at $44 million, a 26 percent increase over 1996 billings of $35 million. The head count at St. John currently stands at 55, and the agency is trying to fill at least five positions.
"We've undergone quite a transformation here over the last several months," said Bruce Broder, St. John president and chief creative officer. He attributed the agency's growth to "an excellent creative product" as well as "the team that [chairman] Dan St. John has assembled over the last year, including [business development director] Jeff McCurry."
Broder joined St. John & Partners last May after heading his own shop in Baltimore [Adweek, May 19], while McCurry came on board in 1996.