Amazon to Use Burnett’s Clout

Amazon Advertising is a small shop, but it usually thinks big when it comes to clients—something that’s not likely to change now that Leo Burnett has a stake in the agency.

The San Francisco shop, which claimed $25 million in billings last year, started out six years ago with Canon as its launch client. Now Burnett has come calling, acquiring a 35 percent stake in Amazon this month, in part because the two are working on a common Procter & Gamble account: Naturella, a feminine hygiene product set to launch in Latin America. Amazon will call on Burnett to help with the launch.

Millie Olson, who co-founded Amazon with Lynda Pearson, said the deal with Chicago-based Burnett will allow her agency to better service larger businesses, particularly those looking to use its expertise in advertising to women.

“We’ve made a lot of new-business efforts [this year], and the Burnett deal was really important because unlike a lot of smaller agencies, we do strategic and creative work for Fortune 500 companies,” Olson said.

The Naturella assignment is not the first time Amazon has created work for a major client with the support from another agency. Amazon worked alongside roster shop Dentsu on the Canon campaign.

Meantime, Amazon has picked up a modest piece of business, the Torani flavored syrups account. The win comes after a review of undisclosed Bay Area shops. Billings were undisclosed.

The agency will design consumer, trade and promotional materials, including café posters, for Torani, which manufactures syrups used in espresso drinks and Italian sodas in chains such as Starbucks.

“We were looking for an agency who could capture the soul of our company, and we loved how Amazon had done that in their other work,” said Cindy Eckart, vice president of marketing for Torani. “We were impressed with the holistic way Amazon approached our business. In fact, with each meeting the [chemistry] just got better.”

“Both our company cultures are open and collaborative, and we share a passion for good food and artful advertising. It feels like a perfect fit,” Olson said.