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Symantec Weighs Agency Options

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Dropped by GMO, Software Maker Considers Avenues for Review

SAN FRANCISCO--Executives at computer software manufacturer and developer Symantec Corp. are in the process of deciding when and how to conduct a search for a new agency, after Goldberg Moser O'Neill here resigned the account, according to sources.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company will most likely seek West Coast shops, sources said, and could choose to award its entire account to one shop or split the business and product lines among a handful of small agencies.
GMO resigned the estimated $5-7 million Symantec business after working on the account for more than four years.
"[Symantec] has been very demanding, and it's growing," said Fred Goldberg, president and chief executive officer at GMO. "And we have a lot [of new business] on our plate now."
Executives at Symantec did not return phone calls at press time.
GMO has been responsible for creating national print work and radio spots for Symantec's various products. The company is best-known for its Norton brand product line of anti-virus, security and network/communications utilities software. It also manufactures fax software such as WinFax PRO and DosFax PRO.
Billings and responsibilities on the account could grow, sources said, as Symantec expands internationally. The publicly traded company operates in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.
GMO has landed several new accounts and projects in recent months, including an estimated
$5-7 million project from New York-based management firm Booz Allen & Hamilton. Other wins include SmarTalk's estimated $10 million account and a $10-15 million global branding project from Cyrix Corp.
The agency was also tapped by Coca-Cola to create advertising for the South American launch of Kuat, a new high-energy drink.
Earlier this month, Symantec completed the repurchase of 500,000 shares of its common stock. It will use the shares for employee stock purchase programs and option grants.