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DoubleClick Seeks Image Boost

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Dogged by negative publicity stemming from a pair of lawsuits and claims that data gathered from Web banners infringes on consumer privacy, DoubleClick is seeking an agency to help boost its image.

Spending was estimated in the $20-25 million range, and the assignment includes creating and placing ads in both North and South America. Consultants with Pile and Co., Boston, have begun compiling a list of possible review participants, and semifinalists will be named within the next few weeks, sources said.

Pile and Co. referred queries to the New York-based client, a provider of Internet advertising services for marketers and Web publishers. "We expect to have a decision made within the first quarter of 2001," said Susan Sachatello, chief marketing officer at DoubleClick, in a prepared statement. A company representative declined to elaborate.

Creative chores are with Digital Pulp in New York; media planning and buying are handled in-house. Digital Pulp was invited to pitch but said it declined, though it hopes to keep working with the client in some capacity.

Agencies in New York with some experience building technology brands are strongly preferred, sources said.

Last month, DoubleClick settled separate patent disputes with 24/7 Media and interactive agency L90. 24/7 Media filed suit in May, alleging that DoubleClick had infringed on a patent.

As part of the settlement, both parties granted each other certain rights in certain of their respective patents. A similar settlement was reached in the dispute between DoubleClick and Los Angeles-based L90. Terms of the settlements were not disclosed.

DoubleClick posted a net loss of $10.7 million on revenue of $135 million for the quarter ended in September.