Masius Lands $20 Mil. Co-op Energy Account

NEW YORK-Masius, a tiny unit of D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, triumphed over Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., to land the esti mated $20 million Touchstone Energy account. The win last week came after a review that also included McCann-Erickson, Washington, D.C., in an earlier round.

The collective marketing experience of the New York boutique’s 13 staffers, coupled with the media-buying clout of Bcom3 sibling MediaVest, helped Masius land the cooperative utility business.

“We needed an agency that had far-reaching capabilities in creative, Internet, and media planning and buying,” said Jim Bausell, the Arlington, Va.-based client’s COO. The Masius team presented ideas that showed the energy cooperative’s advantages from the consumer’s point of view, he added, while MediaVest outlined a “very astute buying strategy that would accrue significant savings.”

Incumbent Westhill Partners in New York did not defend. Its prior campaign showed what cooperatives could offer consumers and was tagged, “The power of human connections,” Bausell said. That line will remain in the new Masius work, expected to break nationally in the second quarter.

“This account allows us to do what we do best—make a human connection with a product that is intangible,” said Rebecca Tudor-Foley, managing director of Masius in New York, which opened last spring. (The shop is based in London.) As examples, she cited the staff’s prior experience at other shops, working on accounts such as AT&T and American Express.

McCann pulled out of the review three weeks ago after its New York office began talks with The New Power Co., another energy concern that eventually tapped McCann without a review [Adweek, Feb. 5].

Other Masius clients include Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Worldtraveldirect. com. The shop’s New York and London offices combined claim $200 million in billings. BMW