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Champion Says Yes to Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer

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CHICAGO Champion Mortgage has awarded its estimated $20 million ad account to Gerbig Snell/Weisheimer following a review, the agency said.

The Westerville, Ohio-based independent bested two undisclosed New York shops for the business. GS/W handles consumer branding for KeyBank, which like Champion Mortgage, is part of Cleveland's KeyCorp.

Champion split with Interpublic Group's The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., in January after two years. Martin's work carried "Champion says yes" as a tagline. The review was conducted by Chicago consultancy Jones Lundin Beals.

Media planning and buying will be handled by Omnicom Group's PHD. GS/W's account team will work out of the agency's New York offices, but Brian Heffernan, executive vice president of the shop's consumer group, will oversee the business, an agency representative said.

Champion of Parsippany, N.J., spent $20 million on advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.