Martin/Williams Wins Syngenta’s $25 Mil. Account

Martin/Williams will take over lead U.S. advertising duties for Syngenta after prevailing in a review for the $25 million business, sources said.

The Minneapolis agency will handle the company’s U.S. crop protection, seed and e-business marketing. The agency’s first work on the account is expected this summer.

The world’s largest crop protection and seed company, Syngenta was formed last year through the merger of the agricultural divisions of AztraZeneca and Novartis. M/W has handled pieces of Novartis’ crop protection business since 1985.

Colle & McVoy, another Novartis agricultural agency, was the other finalist in the review, sources said. Novartis agencies TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., and AztraZeneca shop Bader Ruder & Associates in Brookfield, Wis., were invited but chose not to participate in the review. Publicis, which handled an introductory brand campaign for Syngenta last year, also decided not to participate, sources said.

Separately, the Greensboro, N.C., company awarded its professional products account to hometown shop Trone Advertising, and public relations duties to Gibbs & Seoll PR in New York, sources said. The company’s total marketing budget was expected to be around $50 million, sources said.

M/W officials referred calls to the company. Kim Dawson, Syngenta’s head of marketing, said a selection had been made, but would not confirm the winning agency or those who competed.

Syngenta had 1999 sales of $7.3 billion, according to the company’s Web site.

Separately, M/W is in contract negotiations for ATA’s estimated $15 million account, sources said. The Indianapolis-based airline has been reviewing its account since June 2000.

Other contenders in the review are Chicago shops Bozell, Grant/Jacoby, J. Walter Thompson, Publicis in Mid America and Euro RSCG Tatham.