M&C Saatchi has been awarded the $10 million national ad account to launch WorldSpy, an Internet shopping exchange.
The New York agency won the assignment after a limited review that involved a "couple shops," said M&C Saatchi president Brent Bouchez. Those contenders were undisclosed at press time.
Bouchez said M&C Saatchi will bow a TV and print campaign for the New York startup this fall. Western International Media, an agency already aligned with M&C Saatchi, is in line to handle media duties, but the client has not made a final decision.
Bouchez said WorldSpy has two primary advantages: It is a convenient and cost-effective way of putting marketers and consumers together directly online, and it can act as a comprehensive information resource for potential consumers in all product categories. "WorldSpy's positioning will be as a service that will make people more intelligent shoppers," said Bouchez. "This will be the virtual Wal-Mart everything from televisions to tea bags."
WorldSpy is backed by venture capitalists, including an undisclosed financial institution and a shipping company. Its technology is being developed in conjunction with Pandesic, formed last year by Intel, one of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturers, and SAP America, the U.S. arm of the German business software group.
A recent Forrester Report predicted that more than $17 billion in annual online commerce will be transacted in the U.S. by 2001.