Dentsu’s Colby Is Choice of Bandai America

LOS ANGELES Bandai America has tapped Dentsu’s Colby & Partners to handle the creative portion of its account, a client representative confirmed. Billings are estimated at $20 million.

The Santa Monica, Calif., agency overcame the incumbent, WPP’s J. Walter Thompson in Los Angeles, as well as Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates in West Hollywood, Calif., according to sources. Agency officials either declined comment or could not be reached.

WPP’s MindShare in Los Angeles will continue to handle broadcast, print and online media buys.

Colby & Partners will handle advertising for Bandai toy properties including Power Rangers, Gundam and Strawberry Shortcake.

“We were impressed by the level of strategic thinking that Colby & Partners demonstrated, coupled by the company’s solid background in youth marketing, kids’ entertainment and retail advertising,” said Bill Beebe, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Bandai America in Cypress, Calif., in a statement.

Another factor in Colby’s selection, according to sources, is Bandai’s connection with Colby’s parent company. Dentsu handles advertising for Bandai in Japan.

Bandai spent $21 million on advertising in 2002 and $23 million through November 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

This updates a previously posted item to reflect that MindShare continues to handle Bandai media.