A Digitas Consults to Walker Digital; IPO Nears
BOSTON--Digitas, which is expected to make a public stock offering within the next week, has been retained by intellectual property developer Walker Digital, Stamford, Conn. Walker developed the business model for Priceline.com, and a company representative confirmed the client has retained Digitas for marketing counsel concerning "some of our companies." The representative said that Digitas, which provides a mix of interactive and direct marketing strategies and executions, is the first agency retained by Walker for both the parent firm and various ventures Walker may incubate. Digitas chairman David Kenny, citing the quiet period associated with an IPO, declined comment.
A Five Semifinalists Pursue Mass. Tourism
BOSTON--Five agencies this week will meet with officials of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism in a bid to succeed three-year incumbent Holland Mark Edmund Ingalls, which will not defend the $3-9 million account. The contenders, all in Boston, are: the Boston Group; CGN Marketing & Creative Services; Heater Advertising; Irma S. Mann, Strategic Marketing; and Kelley Habib John Integrated Marketing, a MOTT representative confirmed. Shops will make 90-minute capabilities presentations March 8-9. Finalists will be invited back for creative presentations scheduled for March 30-31. Agency selection is slated for April 10.
A A.T. Cross Mulls Trio
BOSTON--Three finalists have emerged in the review for A.T. Cross' estimated $7 million advertising account. Carmichael/Lynch, Minneapolis, and New York players Bates USA and Margeotes/Fertitta + Partners have advanced, sources said. Both the client and consultants overseeing the review with Pile and Co., Boston, declined comment. The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., and Avrett, Free & Ginsberg and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, both in New York, were semifinalists. Currently, there is no incumbent for the Lincoln, R.I., maker of writing implements.
A Akamai Technologies, TFA Part Ways
BOSTON--Akamai Technologies has split with TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group, Boston. In October, TFA won creative duties, and Carat Freeman, Newton, Mass., picked up media chores for the multimillion-dollar account. "We mutually agreed to part ways," said TFA president Jeffrey Winsper, adding that the Cambridge, Mass., firm did not indicate a desire to find a new agency at this time. Akamai did not return phone calls. TFA ads with the tagline, "Delivering a better Internet," are still running. Akamai's principal rival, Adero, of Boston, last week broke a $15-20 million campaign through Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos themed, "The world wants your business."
A Woolf Gets Hockey's Neely Deal With Molsen
BOSTON--Woolf Associates here has negotiated a deal to include retired hockey star Cam Neely in Molsen Brewing Co.'s latest campaign, created by Bancoup Chapeaux, Dallas. Neely will appear in TV spots through April 30, and participate in a sweepstakes, said Woolf senior director of athlete marketing Kim Zayotti.