NEW YORK Harrisdirect has awarded creative and media duties on its $20 million ad account to StrawberryFrog and The Media Kitchen, respectively, after a review, according to ADvice & ADvisors, the New York consultancy that managed the search.
StrawberryFrog, an independent, bested three other New York shops: WPP Group's Grey, Interpublic Group's Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which is 49 percent owned by Publicis Groupe. The Media Kitchen is a unit of MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York.
In a statement, Harrisdirect CEO Charlie Piermarini said, "We are impressed with the deep business understanding that both StrawberryFrog and The Media Kitchen bring to the table. Their strengths were exhibited through their sound strategic thinking, integrated solutions and most importantly, their collective passion in growing our business."
Havas' Euro RSCG in New York previously handled creative duties. That agency resigned the business in November to take on rival online brokerage Charles Schwab.
Harrisdirect in Jersey City, N.J., is a division of the Bank of Montreal in Toronto, which also owns Harris Bank in Chicago.
Separately, four Chicago shops are competing for Harris Bank's estimated $10 million account: WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather; Omnicom's Element 79; independents Cramer-Krasselt and Two by Four; and the incumbent, Havas' Arnold, which has teamed with sister shop Euro RSCG to defend.
Sources said it is StrawberryFrog's second win in a week, as the Amsterdam office wrested German Coke Light duties from Publicis.