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Agency Nails Combined $50 Mil




Agency Nails Combined $50 Mil. in Network, Web-Site Ad Duties
NEW YORK–CNN has awarded first-time advertising duties for its $25 million CNN.com account and transferred its $25 million CNN TV-network account to Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, following a review.
The New York-based agency will handle both media and creative duties on the combined $50 million account. Moss/Dragoti was the incumbent on the CNN TV-network business since last summer and competed for CNN.com. Other contenders were M&C Saatchi, Merkley Newman Harty and Young & Rubicam’s interactive unit, Y&R 2.1, all New York, Leagas Delaney, San Francisco, and McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C.
Holly Arnowitz, executive vice president, strategic marketing at Turner Broadcasting sales, said all the agencies pitched specifically for CNN.com, and that “nobody had any idea they could be awarded the whole account. But we had that in our minds the whole time.”
The consolidation comes as traffic to CNN.com competitors, such as Yahoo!, MSN and Excite, increased by 30 percent from November 1998 to October 1999, CNN.com’s hits rose just 7 percent in that time period, according to a company brief. The site launched in August 1995.
Arnowitz said the $50 million represents the media buy outside of parent company Turner Broadcasting’s TV and Internet properties.
A print, radio and TV campaign is set for May. It will focus on getting Web surfers to make CNN.com their home page, stay on that page longer and investigate other parts of the site that deal with health, travel and food.
CNN will continue using the “You are what you know” tagline across the entire brand. Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, based in Boston, had created the phrase last summer before the account moved to Moss/Dragoti.
MVBMS chief executive Ron Berger said the win marks the first time the agency has established a “deep relationship” with a media company. The shop once worked with Fox on a project basis. “In this category, CNN is the leading brand and one of the most respected brands in the world,” said Berger.