FCB Turns On WebTV

Also Acquires Youth Marketing Unit McElroy
SAN FRANCISCO–Foote, Cone & Belding, San Francisco, has won WebTV Networks’ $50 million account, and FCB Worldwide, New York, has completed the acquisition of McElroy Communications and will merge it with one of its Southern California offices.
FCB’s San Francisco office, troubled of late by account losses and layoffs, last week won the WebTV account following a review handled by Select Resources International in Los Angeles. The other finalists were Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles, and Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Calif. Incumbent Rubin Postaer and Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., dropped out of the race in July.
Geoff Thompson, chairman of FCB, San Francisco, said the agency’s pitch positioned WebTV as a form of entertainment. “It’s not unfair to characterize our upcoming campaign as a relaunch of WebTV,” he said, adding that the effort will break during the fourth quarter.
Media buying duties will remain at McCann-Erickson, New York.
Separately, FCB Worldwide has finalized its acquisition of youth marketing specialists McElroy Communications, Newport Beach, Calif., for an undisclosed sum.
McElroy, a 25-person shop that handles clients including Van’s Shoes, Titus Interactive and Pacific Sunwear, recorded billings of $11 million in 1998. It will combine with FCB’s Santa Ana, Calif., office at an undetermined location in Newport Beach and be known as McElroy FCB.
Also, FCB’s San Francisco office has promoted executive vice president and group management supervisor Jane Gardner, 50, to director of its new e-business strategies group. The group was created to “provide our clients with a consultant-level think tank focusing on online business strategies,” said Thompson.