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Horizon Scores Second Win in July

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NEW YORK -- Horizon Media has been awarded media planning duties for Ace Hardware. The assignment is the second new business win in a month for the New York-based independent, following Horizon's victory in the $80 million Jack in the Box media review last week.

The media planning shift is a consequence of the home-improvement chain's creative review, which was won by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, in June. Creative incumbent Campbell Mithun, Chicago, also handled media planning.

Horizon won Ace's $40 million media buying business after a review in December. "When we did the media review, we looked at all capabilities for the agencies we were considering," said Stella Barrett, Ace's media manager. "For the creative review, we pretty much decided that if we leave Campbell Mithun, we would move everything to Horizon."

Even though Goodby touched on some ideas for media planning as well, it makes sense to have those duties and buying at the same shop, since "there's so much communication that needs to happen in those areas," Barrett added.

The challenge for Horizon is to increase Ace's presence nationally, despite being considerably outspent by home-improvement competitors such as Home Depot and Lowe's, said Bill Koenigsberg, the shop's CEO.

"Our job is to redefine Ace's audience analysis and hopefully close that competitive spending gap," he said.

Horizon claims billings of $800 million-plus from clients such as Geico Insurance, NBC and IHOP.