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Merkley Favored

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Merkley Newman Harty & Partners here is expected to land ad duties for time-management firm Franklin Covey Co. in Salt Lake City, sources said. Billings are estimated at $15-20 million.

Two other shops—Euro RSCG DSW Partners in Salt Lake City and the team of Publicis Dialog and Publicis Technology in San Fran cisco—also pitched the business.

Presentations took place the week of June 18. The agencies declined comment or could not be reached, and John Harding, evp, marketing at Franklin Covey, did not return calls. Sources, however, said that Merk ley was poised to win the business.

Separately, the client has awarded relationship-marketing duties—in cluding direct marketing chores—to Digitas in San Francisco, said sources. Digitas bested other undisclosed shops to secure the account, which carries billings of more than $10 million. Digitas referred calls to the client, which did not return calls.

The company conducts time-management seminars and sells the Franklin Planner organizer, software, books, cassettes and videos. The products are sold via the Web, catalogs and more than 130 retail stores, according to Hoover's Online.

The client's past agency relationships could not be ascertained. A check on major media spending suggests minimal ad activity in the past. CMR recorded less than $500,000 in ads for the brand last year.

—Andrew McMains

and David Gianatasio