BBDO’s Grass Is Greener

Acquires $20 Mil. Bayer Lawn Pesticide for Y2K
ATLANTA–BBDO South here emerged as the winner of the estimated $20 million account from Bayer Corp.’s agricultural division, sources close to the pitch confirmed last week.
Jeff Upshaw, general manager and executive vice president of BBDO South, confirmed the acquisition last Thursday, but would not comment on the billings. “All we can say is that this is a major undertaking and the client is coming into the market committed,” Upshaw said.
The other contenders were J. Walter Thompson in Atlanta and Bernstein-Rein and Valentine Radford Advertising, both Kansas City, Mo.
The assignment is for an as-yet-unnamed lawn and garden pesticide developed by Bayer, Kansas City, in tandem with Pursell Industries of Sylacauga, Ala. The product will hit store shelves in spring 2000. Pursell, which makes Sta-Green and Polyon fertilizers, struck a deal with Bayer at the end of last year to co-market a line of lawn and garden products under the latter’s brand.
Client officials could not be reached.
Separately, Bayer will take a message about the benefits of a professional-strength termite insecticide straight to consumers via a spring TV campaign from Euro RSCG Tatham, Chicago, sources said. Tatham was awarded the business for the insecticide Premise in a review that included other Bayer roster shops, sources said. Spending was estimated at $5-8 million.
The agency referred questions to Bayer executives, who were unavailable at press time.
The agency’s assignment is to brand the Premise name with consumers, even though the product is available only to professionals, according to those familiar with the review.
Tatham’s Bayer business includes One-A-Day vitamins, Flintstones’ Children Vitamins and Midol. Other Bayer roster shops include Bernstein-Rein, which handles pet care products; Valentine Radford, which advertises agricultural brands; and BBDO in New York, which is responsible for pain relief brands including Bayer and Alka-Seltzer. –with Aaron Baar