– InfoWorks Opens Irving Office for SBC
DALLAS–InfoWorks, the decision sciences marketing arm of Rapp Collins Worldwide, has opened an office in Irving, Texas, to service the SBC Communications direct marketing account recently won by Rapp. Officials at both the client and agency have declined to disclose the budget for the account. Tapped to lead the new division is Lou Schwarz, who has been appointed senior vice president of customer value management strategies. Schwarz, 40, was previously vice president of database marketing and decision support at Scudder Kemper Investments, the mutual fund and money management division of Zurich Financial Group. The new office, which will initially employ seven staffers, is the third location for InfoWorks. The unit also has a presence in Chicago and Toronto. InfoWorks and Rapp Collins are both part of Omnicom.
– The Richards Group Picks Up Robomow
DALLAS–Friendly Robotics has selected The Richards Group as its agency of record. With U.S. headquarters in Las Colinas, Texas, the Israeli-owned company plans to launch its robotic lawn mower, Robomow, this spring. Using a proprietary navigation technology, the “whisper-quiet” device automatically and systematically mows lawns. Robomow is the first in a series of digital mobile appliances the company plans to market via Dallas-based Richards. Annual billings for the account were not disclosed.
– Awards PR to Ketchum
DALLAS–Ketchum has been awarded the public relations account of, a consumer-rating Web site for local-service businesses. Ketchum will provide the Dallas-based startup with strategic media and community relations counsel. The account will be managed from Ketchum’s Dallas location.
– Murray Brown Gains High-Tech Client
DALLAS–Murray Brown Creative Group has been selected by The iSpark Group to implement a corporate identity campaign. The Fort Worth-based client is a software development and consulting organization whose target markets include Internet service providers, Web-hosting specialists and other subscription-based companies. The company’s primary software package handles customer billing applications. Murray Brown is also located in Fort Worth.
– Teams Chosen in McDonald’s Pitch
CHICAGO–Kragie/Newell is teamed with DDB Chicago in a pitch against Leo Burnett and Moroch & Associates in Dallas for the $12-15 million McDonald’s Michigan co-op advertising business, sources said last week. Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco, also a McDonald’s regional shop, did not make the finals while incumbent Arnold Communications in Boston withdrew from the competition to concentrate on retaining its McDonald’s business in Boston. Kragie/Newell in Des Moines, Iowa, is a part of the Omnicom’s Integer Group, while DDB, McDonald’s lead agency, is also an Omnicom agency. Burnett, McDonald’s secondary agency, owns a minority stake in Moroch.