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Lego Reviews; APL Picks up Global Ads

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Danish toymaker Lego Systems is talking to agencies about a handful of new global assignments with total billings of $30 million.
The new, global approach is a change in the toymaker's ad strategy. Previously, Lego's bread and butter was product-specific advertising that varied by country.
"We have briefed some agencies on some global campaigns," said Leo Bogeholm Madsen, senior vice president of marketing at Lego in Billund, Denmark. Two tasks have already been assigned. Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York (Lego's lead U.S. shop) has picked up the global assignment for Play Themes toys. In addition, APL has added duties for Mindstorms outside the U.S. Total billings on APL's Lego business now exceed $40 million.
Asked about the new ad assignments, which were awarded without a review, Lance Smith, the APL's president, multinational clients, said:
"I think it's a reflection of our 22 years of good work out of North America We're thrilled because it's a great brand."
Meanwhile, Advance in Copenhagen has been awarded Technic Toys, Madsen said.
Lego's move from away from regional ads is creating new assignments for roster and non-roster shops.
A handful of other assignments remain up for grabs and Lego is considering several undisclosed agencies.
The reviews encompass creative and media planning duties and are expected to wrap up within a month. Media buying varies by market. The winning agency (or agencies) will develop campaigns for 2000.