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Ready For Their Close-Up

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Shops vying for First Union's $5-10 million business-to-business account were asked to capture the spirit of their agency on tape by providing consultant Pile & Co. with "video biographies."
The request, which new business professionals called unusual, had some burning the midnight oil to beat the Boston consultancy's deadline. Agencies were told to limit their videos to four minutes, and given a week and a half to create their profiles.
Pile consultant Rick Hooper said the video request was standard procedure in the consultant's bigger reviews.
While some shops created videos tailored to the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant's needs, others produced broader bios to be recycled for future use. One agency that first considered the video a nuisance now sees it as an excellent marketing opportunity. "It's a way for us to self-select clients," one source said. "People will get a clearer picture of what we're all about."
Pile was expected to make a cut last week. About 15 undisclosed shops participated in the first phase of the review.
--Justin Dini