Picks Ad Counsel

Retains McCann-Erickson Southwest for Initial $20 Mil. Account
DALLAS– has selected McCann-Erickson Southwest to handle its inaugural $20 million advertising account.
The Lake Helen, Fla.-based online company looked at five other unidentified agencies before opting for the Dallas shop.
“The dot-com business is heating up and getting hotter,” said Mark Denesuk, executive vice-president and general manager of McCann-Erickson Southwest. “This account is a meaningful piece of business.”
“A lot of dot-com business has migrated from being a bunch of guys in a garage to people who have offline businesses,” he added. “ has been in legal publishing for years and now they wish to position themselves for a stronger future.”
Formerly known as The Publishing Company of North America, publishes bar association directories and is moving its information online.
“Our goal is to become the largest legal referral network in the world,” said Peter Balise, president and chief executive officer. “We felt McCann-Erickson represented a perfect fit for what we are doing.” plans to launch a Web site in the fall. A national brand awareness campaign featuring television, radio and billboard advertising will start at the end of the year or the beginning of 2001.
The company had sales of $5.5 million and net income of $200,000 in 1999, according to Hoovers Online. Balise said the advertising campaign will be funded with revenue from current sales.
The Web site will be designed to provide the general public with legal information and lists of attorneys to select online.
“People tend to be intimidated at the thought of dealing with counsel,” said Balise. “We aim to put people at their ease, better educate them so that they don’t feel that all hope is lost.” is the second major piece of dot-com business McCann-Erickson Southwest has acquired this year. In April, the agency was chosen to spearhead a marketing campaign for, an e-tailer and information source involved in home, business, automotive and personal safety.
“It’s foolish not to pursue dot-com business, but you have to be careful,” said Denesuk. “You shouldn’t bet the ranch on them.
“We are working with companies which have a solid offline business as well.”