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Dyson Seeks Two Agencies to Handle U.S. Launch

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Dyson, a U.K.-based maker of appliances, is looking for a creative and a media agency to launch its products here in the fall, sources said.

The London office of AAR is said to be handling both reviews, but could not be reached for comment.

The company, which markets vacuum cleaners and washing machines in 22 countries, is expected to select one creative and one media shop by March.

"They're brilliant products," said one source whose agency is not in the review. "That's why they haven't had to do much advertising [in Europe]. Sales are completely by word of mouth, but the U.S. is a potentially big market for them." The RFP states that the U.S. business is worth $40 million in billings.

For the creative pitch, four undisclosed shops have made the cut from the 12 that returned proposals earlier this month.

The client has asked shops for ideas on launching its line of vacuum cleaners. Sources said client executives will meet with the four creative contenders this week. The status, and contenders, of the media review were unclear at press time.

Calls to the client, located in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, U.K., were not immediately answered.

One source said the review does not affect the creative incumbent, inde pendent London shop Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy. In fact, Miles Calcraft is said to be assisting in the U.S. search. An executive there declined comment.

Walker Media, which handles U.K. media duties, is also unaffected.

According to a notice posted earlier this month on its Web site, the company is transferring all vacuum-cleaner manufacturing from Malmesbury to Malaysia. The reasons cited include its desire to "launch more products faster" and "to meet demand from the U.S. market."

When it enters the U.S., Dyson will compete against the likes of Hoover, the top U.S. seller of vacuums, and No. 2 Eureka, as well as Whirl pool, which claims 50 percent of U.S. washer sales, and No. 2 Maytag.