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Whirlpool Consolidates at Publicis

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NEW YORK Whirlpool said today it would consolidate creative chores at Publicis Groupe's Publicis USA and media duties at Optimedia.

In addition to the Whirlpool brand, the New York offices of those agencies will now handle brands added through the company's March acquisition of Maytag. (Along with the flagship Maytag brand, those include Amana, Jenn-Air and KitchenAid in North America.)

Publicis and Optimedia stand to gain approximately $85 million in billings, in addition to the $35 million in Whirlpool assignments they already handle, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Leo Burnett in Chicago had handled Amana, Jenn-Air and Maytag. Fallon in Minneapolis handled KitchenAid creative and media. Both shops are also owned by Publicis. Maytag media was handled by Interpublic Group's Universal McCann.

The shifts are being made without a review.

Jon Renner, svp, group account director at Publicis, will run the consolidated account. Ed Han, associate creative director, will lead campaign development.

In a statement, Whirlpool vp of brand marketing and communications Jeff Davidoff said, "Publicis has done great work for the Whirlpool brand, and we look forward to working with them to tap into the powerful equities of each of these brands, and carve out ownable and distinct footprints for each of them in this competitive category."

The Benton Harbor, Mich., client is the leading domestic home appliance maker of refrigerators, washers and dryers, dishwashers, microwaves and air purifiers, according to Hoover's Online. Whirlpool acquired Maytag in March 2006.

This story updates and corrects an earlier item. Maytag's media chores were handled by Universal McCann.