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Postal Service Delivers to FCB

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Shop Snares $40 Mil. in Tasks From Y&R, But Review Is Ahead
NEW YORK--The United States Postal Service has shifted creative duties on assignments worth $40 million from Young & Rubicam to Foote, Cone & Belding, with the expectation of a full review commencing early next year, the client confirmed.
Direct work at Y&R subsidiary Wunderman Cato Johnson here was shifted to DraftWorldwide, Chicago, the client said.
The entire USPS account is valued at roughly $138 million. All existing contracts will expire in September 2000.
"With fewer dollars, we had to be smarter about how we were managing our activities," said Judy de Torok, manager of marketing communications for USPS, based in Washington, D.C.
De Torok indicated that USPS would cut its budget for fiscal year 2000, but would not say by how much.
Y&R here lost duties for the USPS corporate image campaign, global delivery services, ad mail and special services such as money orders, said sources. The client spent nearly $40 million in media for those services last year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The client's other roster shop, Frankel & Co., Chicago, continues to create in-store materials and Internet ads, de Torok said.
FCB, which has been encroaching on Y&R's turf since 1995 when it won the specialty stamp account, will continue to handle that business, global and domestic priority mail. The award-winning campaign for the latter service carried the tagline: "What's your priority?"
Y&R continues to handle media planning and buying for USPS and Hispanic and Asian marketing through fiscal year 2000, which begins next month, de Torok said. Y&R's contracts for those tasks were renewed for another year.
Y&R officials declined comment. FCB officials could not be reached at press time, but a source familiar with the USPS said the shift came as no surprise. "Four years ago, Y&R had the lion's share of the business, but FCB has continued to deliver quality work for the client," the source said.
The source cited the "What's your priority?" and "Fly like an eagle" campaigns as examples of FCB work that has made the shop increasingly attractive to USPS.
The shift marks a turnabout of sorts among major clients of the two shops. Just a few weeks ago, Y&R snared some $40-50 million of FCB's duties for mutual client AT&T.
--with Trevor Jensen